Potential in BPO sector highlighted

Pacific Centrecom (Fiji) Ltd general manager Carol Watkins assists Minister for Commerce Faiyaz Koya at their office in Suva in April this year. The 2021-2022 National Budget has incentives which could boost investment in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Major players in the business process outsourcing (BPO) market, like the Philippines and India, had been greatly affected by the COVID-19 crisis and were facing some serious down times.

However, Fiji was well placed for both outsourcing customers and investors.

This, according to the Business Process Outsourcing Council which stated clients and investors were now looking for other potential outsourcing destinations and Fiji was well placed to tap into this demand.

BPO Council executive director Sagufta Janif said 90 per cent of BPO employees had received their first dose of the vaccine and the aim was for a 100 per cent fully vaccinated workforce by the end of October.

“We fully support the Government’s vaccination campaign for the safety of our employees and their families,” she said.

“Our clients and investors are now requesting for a fully vaccinated workforce as a pre-requisite and because Fiji has access to vaccines, it makes us look lucrative from an outsourcer and potential investor’s lens.”

Fiji’s BPO industry was stated to have expanded significantly over the past decade and contributed about $A66 million ($F100m) per annum to Fiji’s economy and this was expected to triple in the next three years.

The industry employed 5000 people and 90 per cent of the workforce was under the age of 35.

The BPO Council stated as Fiji delved into the diversification of its major industries, business process outsourcing provided a real and tangible alternative to Fiji’s traditional areas of focus to contribute to the country’s economic growth.

With further investments and support, the industry was projected to create at least 15,000 more jobs and in the next five years, potentially bring in about $US1.9 billion ($F3.9b) dollars in foreign reserves.

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