On the heels of an investor convention that saw Jamaica lauded as ripe for foreign direct investment (FDI), the CEO of a regional recruitment service is urging governing bodies, businesses and other groups to ensure that FDI is used to create more jobs for local residents.
“FDI is critical for many Caribbean countries,” said Boll, Caribbean Employment Services Inc. CEO, “but what’s even more important is for that to go back into the local economy in meaningful ways. Namely, it should ensure that citizens and residents are able to secure well-paying, secure jobs so that they can provide for their families and earn a living, allowing them to spend more and stimulate the economy.”
Caribbean Employment Services Inc. is a market-leading digital talent acquisition service that aims to connect the top talent from the Caribbean with hiring managers, HR professionals and decision-makers in companies both within the Caribbean as well as abroad. Further, it aims to provide the region’s jobseekers and those who are already employed with news and resources related to Caribbean labour.
Boll continued, “In any small island developing state, FDI shouldn’t just line the pockets of an unknown businessperson and then stop there. Ideally, it should empower small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), among other initiatives, as data has shown that, in the Caribbean, these businesses and respective governments are collectively the largest employers.”
The CEO was referring to a report by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which asserted that strengthening SMEs will directly lead to more jobs in the Caribbean. That same report found that SMEs generate as much as 80 percent of jobs in Jamaica specifically, “thereby contributing significantly to the country’s GDP, poverty alleviation, female employment and social stability”.
“If FDI is used to support development and economic growth,” said Boll, “economies will prosper and jobs will naturally follow. One would think that this should be an ideal end goal throughout the Caribbean region, which is suffering from extreme levels of job informality.”
The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) recently found that informal jobs jumped by as much as 70 percent in the region as a result of the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Job informality fosters heightened vulnerability, noted the Caribbean Employment Services Inc. CEO, whereas an expansion of jobs through FDI could help to remedy the issue.
SOURCE: Caribbean Employment Services Inc.