Why invest in Haiti’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Information Technology (IT) Industry?
- Large and multilingual labor force
- Geographical and cultural proximity to major North American markets
- Recent investments in crucial infrastructure, including two undersea fiber optic cables providing high speed connectivity
- Attractive labor costs as salaries and mandatory contributions are one of the most competitive in the nearshore region
Skilled and Competitive Labor Force
With a labor pool of French, English and Spanish speakers, Haiti is well placed to serve the multilingual needs of the call center market. Haiti is uniquely positioned to serve the French speaking populations in Canada, Europe and Africa. Indeed, Haiti is North America’s only nearshore location with a significant French speaking population, providing the country with a core advantage for investments in BPO services.
Recruiters have shown satisfaction with the availability and trainability of job seekers, which includes Haitians educated in the United States, Canada and the Dominican Republic. Strong affinity to North American culture and the large Haitian diaspora in the U.S. and Canada contribute to high levels of service and quality. A low staff attrition rate is also a factor helping Haiti be one of the most effective call center locations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Wages in Haiti are also extremely competitive, enhancing the attractiveness of the country for BPO services.
Haiti’s geographic location is particularly convenient for companies and customers in prime U.S. and Canadian markets. Managers can reach Haiti via direct (2 to 5 -hour) flights from various cities in the U.S. and Canada. Haiti is also located in the same time zone as Eastern zones of the United States and Canada, easing international operations.
Since the 2010 earthquake, public and private actors have invested extensive resources in upgrading the country’s infrastructure, including its telecommunications and internet networks and connectivity. The country’s connectivity needs are met by two undersea fiber optic cables. Two large telecom providers provide E1 connectivity at competitive rates. In addition, Haiti has recently started to set up a Tier 3 data center that will be operational by mid-2015. There are numerous locations in Haiti where an IT or BPO center could be established. These include the Caracol Industrial Park, the Triangular Business Park and the Lafito Global Business Park, all of which have abundant bandwidth connectivity options.
One call center business in Haiti is the 300-agent operation run by Digicel, the Caribbean’s main telecom service provider. This customer service operation provides support to all Digicel businesses in the English and Spanish speaking countries in Central America and the Caribbean Basin. Other recently established BPO centers provide customer care, billing, insurance, and healthcare services for the United States, the Dominican Republic and Canada.
The CFI, in collaboration with the Ecole Supérieure d’Infotronique d’Haiti (ESIH), is helping to increase the country’s pool of skilled female programmers through the “PowerToFly” programme (powertofly.com). PowerToFly aims to find women jobs wherever they are by allowing firms “that recognize how diversity and flexible work fuel innovation” to outsource their technology projects. This initiative, an innovative approach to job creation, demonstrates that Haitian workers have the skills demanded by today’s employers.
How can CFI assist you?
The CFI actively supports investors during all stages of their investment decision-making process. Its dedicated, skilled and professional staff is available to deliver specialized services including:
- Supplying general and customized reports on investment opportunities in Haiti, as well as information relating to the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks and processes
- Facilitating visits to Haiti by potential investors and arranging suitable meetings, including with government agencies and organizations in Haiti that could support the investment process
- Facilitating identification of suitable sites for a proposed investment project
- Helping to ensure smooth entry and establishment of an investment project, through the provision of information and assistance with acquiring permits and licenses, as well as with business registration processes
- Providing information on relevant Haiti-based consulting services and suppliers
- Offering aftercare services to established investors to support a smooth business operating environment as well reinvestment and development plans in Haiti
- Supporting investors seeking to benefit from Haiti’s fiscal incentives regime.