The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro) and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a US$20mn loan facility for investment in the ICT sector, according to government website JIS.
The facility - which aims to support the expansion of 26 existing BPO operators in Jamaica - will be administered by the DBJ in collaboration with Jampro. The latter will be responsible for screening investors interested in building ICT facilities, reviewing proposals and referring suitable loan applicants, while the DBJ will conduct due diligence, credit checks and financial evaluation of referred applicants in the approval and monitoring of loans.
"The government is providing this financing support in order to develop at least 350,000 square feet of appropriate ICT ready space to accommodate tier 1 operators in the ICT/BPO sector, which in turn is expected to generate over time, through the attraction of investors in the sector, an additional 10,000 new ICT jobs for the Jamaican economy," said industry, investment and commerce minister Christopher Tufton.
Entrepreneurs can access a maximum of US$5mn a project, representing 70% of the total project cost. Loan repayment can be up to 12 years, with an annual interest rate of 4.5%.
The line of credit will be funded by a loan from the Petro Caribe Development Fund (PDF), which is used to develop projects and assist entities that are considered critical to Jamaica's growth plans.