MONTEGO BAY, March 12, 2015 - Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, has urged international investors to consider opportunities in Jamaica’s emerging nutraceutical industry and the Business Process Outsourcing (PBO) sector.
Addressing yesterday’s opening of the Jamaica Investment Forum, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, the Prime Minister urged the more than 137 foreign investors in attendance to “give careful consideration to these possibilities” even as they consider business opportunities in the established sectors of the economy.
She pointed out, that the nutraceutical industry was a non-traditional area that offers “lucrative possibilities”.
“It is an area, which I believe in, not only for the economic benefits to be derived, but also because of its emphasis on healthy lifestyles and wellness. Nutraceuticals are from food sources with extra health benefits. They also include medicinal plants and natural mineral water. Here in Jamaica, we also have several sources of mineral water with wellness spas at Bath in St. Thomas in the eastern end of the island, Milk River in Clarendon in central Jamaica and the Rockfort Mineral Bath in Kingston,” she informed.
Turning to Information Communication Technology (ICT)/BPO, the Prime Minister said the sector has had a major and positive impact on job creation, particularly youth employment.
The sector currently employs more than 17,000 people, up from 12,000 in 2012.
It has also improved on its earnings, moving from US $300 million in 2012 to US$500 million in 2015, an increase of 66 percent.
“There is a clear connection between the (first) Jamaica Investment Forum in 2012 and the growth we are experiencing in Jamaica’s ICT/BPO business. It is my hope that this forum will bring even greater returns for this important industry,” the Prime Minister said.
She cited Sutherland Global is an outstanding example of the expansive growth now taking place in the ICT/BPO industry, the epicentre of which is located in the city of Montego Bay.
“They are now expanding to Mandeville in Manchester. I commend the principal of the Sutherland Global,” she said.