Over 100 industry leaders from the public and private sectors across the region are expected to converge in Jamaica this December to discuss how best to attract more business from international companies to the Caribbean in areas such as call centre operations, website and animation design, and legal and accounting services.

The first-ever Outsource to the Caribbean Conference (OCC) under the theme “Leveraging the Nearshore Caribbean for Outsourcing Services” will be held on December 6, 2017 at the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach Hotel in Montego Bay, where representatives from international companies are also expected to attend.

The event is being organised by the Caribbean Export Development in conjunction with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) and funded by the EU via the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). It will focus on the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, specifically “nearshore outsourcing” which involves contracting the operations of specific business processes to third-party service providers in neighbouring or nearby countries.

Executive Director of Caribbean Export, Pamela Coke Hamilton, noted that outsourcing business to the Caribbean is beneficial not only to the region but to any international businesses investing here.  “The Caribbean is an excellent place to do business. We have a highly skilled, educated multi-lingual and cost effective labour pool. There is also a flexible work environment and a supportive regulatory framework which allows for low operational costs.  The Caribbean also has an advanced telecommunications infrastructure with all the necessary requirements for global connectivity,” the Executive Director stressed.

Ms.  Coke Hamilton further pointed out those areas in which the Caribbean could offer excellent BPO services.  They include: Voice Processing/Call Centres; Back Office Automation; Shared Services; Finance and Accounting; Human Resources; Legal Processes; Animation Services; Graphic Design; Web Design; and Data Entry Services.

Speaking directly to the conference, Senior Advisor, Investment Promotion, at Caribbean Export, Suzette Hudson, explained that OCC2017 was designed to increase awareness of the Caribbean as an outsourcing destination for business processes.

“It aims to bring together all the key BPO stakeholders in the region for the development of a targeted BPO Growth Strategy, which is expected to start in 2018. We also wish to enhance the visibility of the sector through increased communication about the value proposition of the Caribbean, generate investment leads, and increase the Caribbean’s insertion into BPO networks through connections with BPO journals, newsletters and key influencers”, Ms. Hudson noted.

She further explained that the conference will offer participants the opportunity to fully discuss areas relevant to BPO.  “Potential investors will gain insight into regional offerings and the numerous service possibilities through an impressive programme of plenaries and one-on-one engagements.  They can also create their own nearshore operation or form new partnerships with more than 100 potential partners, ranging from outsource providers and commercial developers to end users.”