Finance Minister tours Qualfon Providence campus
– advocates Guyana as prime destination for business process outsourcing (BPO) operations
During a tour of the Qualfon Call Centre Providence campus today, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh indicated that the Government of Guyana will be promoting Guyana aggressively as a prime destination for business process outsourcing (BPO) operations such as call centres, which have the potential to create thousands of new jobs for the Guyanese working population.
The Minister highlighted that Guyana has a number of obvious advantages as a destination for BPO operations, including the country’s English-speaking population, as well as the population’s high level of literacy, along with the country’s location in the same time zone as the East Coast of North America. He added that the recent liberalization of the telecommunications sector also adds to the factors weighing in Guyana’s favour as a destination for this kind of business.
He noted that call centres such as Qualfon which employ large numbers of persons will assist in the diversification of the economy (through job creation and employment) which is a major focus of President Irfaan Ali’s Government.
While recalling that it was under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic that Qualfon opened its doors in Guyana, Minister Singh said, “Guyana has remarkable potential in the BPO sector especially in the generating of income and creating jobs. Our Government (at the time of the Company’s opening) had recognized the remarkable potential of the Company.”
The Senior Finance Minister reminded that the company started its operations in Guyana in 2005 with 25 employees and expanded rapidly to reach 2,800 employees by 2014, but that in the last five years this figure had fallen to below 1,800. He posited that it is this Government’s intention to see the Company once again realize its full potential, and that the BPO sector more broadly would once again become a major employer in Guyana.
“We believe that the Company has phenomenal potential in Guyana. We would like to see thousands of jobs created by Qualfon and other companies operating in this sector. We were (at the time of Qualfon’s opening) advocating Guyana as being an attractive BPO destination, which we intend to resume doing. We see companies like this, and the sector as a whole, as being an important part of economic diversification,” Dr. Singh noted further.
The Senior Finance Minister who was accompanied by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, prior to elaborating on the role Qualfon and call centres as such would play in Government’s economic diversification drive, was taken on a tour of the campus by Qualfon’s Country Director, Luanna Persaud. There, he witnessed a large number of young people at work in various departments serving Qualfon’s clients around the world using modern information and communications technology.
With Guyana being a major international player currently due to it being an oil and gas producer, President Irfaan Ali’s Government, since its ascension to Office in August 2020, has continued to reiterate the importance of the other sectors in the country and has placed much focus on ensuring that the sectors receive the necessary attention and efforts to assist in boosting the country’s non-oil economy. Some of the sectors seeing activity increasing and which have been noted to be the ones that will aid the country in its economic drive are agriculture, tourism, services and logistics and housing and water.