Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) can help to reduce Belize’s unemployment rate. The Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE) is, therefore, actively seeking out and negotiating with BPO investors.
This is the governing rationale behind the BPO-investment strategies being implemented, Mike Singh, BELTRAIDE’s Executive Chairman, told the Reporter on Tuesday, November 22.
Commonly described as call centers, BPO firms have the potential to provide jobs to scores of Belizeans.
Ready Call Center, for example, already employs approximately 900 people; Infotell has about 80 employees; and Transparent BPO, by mid-2012, is expected to have at least 450 employees, Singh explained.
BELTRAIDE’s Director of Business and Investment Facilitation Services, Shahera McKoy, said these firms continue to expand, and because the other Central American countries’ English-speaking population has already been “saturated” with BPO firms, investors are looking for alternatives.
This opens a door for Belize; however, we are often overlooked because investors mistake us for a Spanish-speaking country because we are situated in Central American.
It is for this reason BELTRAIDE has launched an aggressive Public Relations campaign strategy as part of its four-pronged strategy to provide would-be investors with accurate information, McKoy explained.
Singh also elaborated on the other strategies being utilized.
He cited the two-week Business Processing Outsourcing Specialist Training Program that was held at ITVET. The program, which was a collaborative effort between BELTRAIDE and the Ministry of Education, concluded on Monday, with 66 persons being certified as BPO professionals.
Coupled with the fact that Belizeans speak English as their first language, the training gives participants an extra advantage “by providing them with essential communication, customer service, sales skills and work ethics; thus, making them marketable for employment.”
BELTRAIDE is also working along with Belize Telemedia to offer reduced bandwidth prices to give further incentives to investors.
BELTRAIDE is also working with building owners to ensure that call-center-ready buildings are available in Belize.
Singh says BELTRAIDE is currently negotiating with six firms.