The ICT sector has been identified as a potential growth sector for Fiji, noting the availability of world-class ICT infrastructure.
It has been the Fijian Government’s foresight to invest in the ICT infrastructure and capitalise on Fiji’s hub status. Consequently, this increases Fiji’s potential to attract investments in ICT-based industries, including call centres and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) operations.
Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, Permanent Secretary, Shaheen Ali and the Fiji Consul General/Trade Commissioner to Australia, Zarak Khan visited the Mindpearl Call Centre operations Monday.
The Minister also met with Lyndhurst Ltd, who has plans to develop an international business park at the Kalabu Tax Free Zone.
In terms of job creation, a recent report by the World Bank Report titled, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Jobs in the Pacific (December, 2015), indicates that 10,000 jobs could be created between Fiji, Samoa and Tonga with optimistic scenarios increasing that number to 27,000, representing 3% of GDP.
Minister Koya during his visit to the Mindpearl Call Centre stated; “The Fijian Government has positioned Fiji as an attractive location for BPO operations. It’s convenient time-zone, world class IT infrastructure, attractive investment incentives, dynamic, vibrant, customer service driven workforce and a low cost business environment has drawn international interest to Fiji’s doorstep. International companies such as Mindpearl have created a new avenue for employment for our first time job-seekers. Approximately1, 200 young Fijians have been employed by Mindpearl within a short timeframe.”
He further added that: “For Fiji alone, the Government is committed to creating between 40,000 to 50,000 direct jobs as part of its long term vision in the ICT sector and other value adding sectors. These figures are supported by the findings contained in the recently completed World Bank Report and is also demonstrated by the robust ICT investments that Fiji has managed to attract over the last 10 years. The Fijian Government will develop a manufacturing and services zone in the Western Division, which will focus on the ICT and light manufacturing industries. Preparatory work for this zone is already underway. This project will build on the successes achieved by the international companies based at the Kalabu Tax Free Zone and elsewhere in Fiji.”
Minister Koya also highlighted that “in order to capitalise on the rapid increase in BPO interest and activity, the Fijian Government hosted a BPO Mission last month for Australian businesses scoping BPO opportunities here in Fiji. The visitors were collectively impressed with our world class facilities and the maturity of this sector.”
Fiji has already shown tremendous potential with over 3,000 direct jobs created through the outsourcing operations of ANZ Suva Hub, Centrecom, Packleader and Mindpearl to name a few. There is potential to increase these figures to more than 15,000 people once the international business park being developed by Lyndhurst and the Government’s Manufacturing and Services Zone are fully operational in the next few years.
“Fiji is a country with a strong potential for outsourcing online and customer-oriented services,” said Ingo Schulz, General Manager –Mindpearl Suva. “The findings demonstrate many of the key reasons we opened operations in Fiji six years ago—friendly and customer-oriented people and a compelling cost advantage.”
In 2014, Fiji won the European Outsourcing Association’s Offshoring Destination of the Year Award acknowledging its successful service to the UK and other European outsourcing markets.
SOURCE: DEPTFO NEWS