Late last year, a World Bank report titled Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Jobs in the Pacific, found that almost 10,000 jobs could be created across Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, with optimistic scenarios making that number as high as 27,000, representing more than three per cent of GDP.
Many of these jobs could be in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. With the exponential rise of data connectivity and its affordability worldwide, the BPO sector has grown by leaps and bounds to an estimated US$952 billion a year, according to the report.
BPO encompasses such business activities as back and front office support; telemarketing and telesales; complaints handling; market research and data entry; insurance claim and transaction processing; financial services and overflow and after hours support, among many others.
Speaking at the Pacific Wave Conference in Auckland last month, broadband satellite operator Kacific’s CEO Christian Patouraux said faster, cost-effective internet connectivity in the Pacific Islands could potentially create thousands of jobs, increase regional per capita GDP by US$630 a year and cut poverty by 16 per cent.
Fiji leads the Pacific Islands region in catching up relatively well with the globally growing ICT pie, with fast and reliable connectivity becoming increasingly affordable and ubiquitous.
Since the release of the World Bank report, Fiji has been eager to exploit this potential and is hosting a Business Process Outsourcing Mission, being led by Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) starting 26 July, 2016.
With the support of the Fiji Government, Fiji has positioned itself as an enticing location for BPO operations offering attractive investment incentives. Already more than 1,000 jobs have been created in Fiji. It offers a number of competitive advantages including a young labour market that is both qualified for the tasks and have positive perceptions of the Pacific region, which lends itself well to call centres and customer service orientated tasks.
All this coupled with an IT infrastructure that is world class, competitive cost at least 50 per cent lower than Australia and with a convenient time zone location, places Fiji in a very strong position to continue to draw international business to its door step.
International experience has seen large countries such as India, the Philippines, but also small island countries like Mauritius, benefit from job creation in the offshore and online outsourcing and other IT-enabled industry sectors,” said Natasha Beschorner, Senior ICT Policy Specialist at the World Bank. “This study shows the potential for Fiji, Samoa and Tonga to tap into that market and create new and unique job opportunities that can especially benefit women and youth.”
Fiji might be the place to consider if you’re looking for the following support for your organisation. If you want more information on the BPO Mission please click here.
For more information and to view the original World Bank report released in December 2015, click here.