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The Caribbean has a diverse set of small island territories and countries—such as Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Antilles, and others—that have been the subject of a lot of near-sourcing from U.S. companies in recent years. While these island nations are known mostly for their tourism, they’re also very diverse and can be the host of outsourcing for tech industries as well. If you’re considering doing business in the Caribbean, it’s important to understand human capital trends in the region. Here’s everything you need to know.
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Tech Graduates & Workforce
Many Caribbean nations have invested heavily in improving infrastructure in recent years. This has led to solid growth in tech industries:
- Parallel18 is an accelerator based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which has been educating and supporting startup businesses in health care, tech, and engineering for years.
- Jamaica is home to The University of Technology, a public university founded back in 1958. It has more than 12,000 students who attend the university every year.
- The MIC Institute of Technology in Trinidad and Tobago has more than 12 locations throughout the country. The institute has been pumping out tech graduates at increasing levels, especially in recent years.
Key Sectors for Local Activity
Countries and territories in the Caribbean are now diverse places of economic activity. Here’s an overview of the region’s main business sectors:
- Agriculture: Caribbean islands are home to exotic plants not found in other parts of the world. Coffee and fruits thrive here and are some of the region’s biggest exports. They are also major producers of sugar cane, which is shipped around the world.
- Shipping: As islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean nations are often significant shipping centers. There are multiple major ports throughout the region.
- Tourism: It’s no surprise that Caribbean islands are hotbeds for tourist activity. Since they have warm climates all year round, lush beaches, and luxurious resorts, they attract visitors from all over the world.
Key Sectors for Outsourcing
The Caribbean is quickly becoming a major region for call center and tech outsourcing. Because these islands are truly international, their workers often have a keen understanding of American life and culture as well.
With so much tourism coming from North America and England, people in Caribbean nations learn English at an early age. Workers in all fields need to speak it well enough to interact with many of the people who visit their islands.
Because of this, U.S. companies are finding Caribbean nations/territories to be great alternatives to some of the bigger outsourcing countries in other parts of the world.
Cost reduction is one of the largest benefits of outsourcing to the Caribbean. The median salary for a computer technician in Jamaica, for example, is $671,000 JMD per year ($4,373 USD). A similar worker in the United States, by contrast, typically earns more than $80,000 per year.
Prominent Cities for Business
There are many prominent cities for business throughout the Caribbean, including:
- Kingston, Jamaica: Kingston is the capital city of Jamaica, located on the coast at the southeastern side of the island. The Blue Mountains back the city, making it a pristine area for tourism. It’s a modern city with a diverse metropolitan population.
- San Juan, Puerto Rico: The capital city of Puerto Rico was founded back in the early 1500s. There’s a lot of history in the city, but it is also a modern metropolis. Parts of the city were heavily damaged by Hurricane Maria a few years ago, but there are many manufacturing facilities, banking, and tech companies still located here.
- Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago: Chaguanas is the largest and fastest-growing city in Trinidad and Tobago. It’s located a bit inland and is home to major sugar refineries. It’s also home to diverse shopping plazas and a number of small- to medium-sized companies.
Turnover rates can trend on the lower end in Caribbean islands. Part of the reason for this is the limited number of quality jobs, at least compared to some larger countries. Educated workers who have good jobs, then, tend to not want to leave them.
Is the Caribbean Right for Your Business?
SERVIAP is a leading Professional Employer Organization (PEO) ready to help your business expand operations throughout the Western Hemisphere. PEO is a model of co-employment, where we assume total responsibility for your talent, allowing you to focus on the strategic activities of your organization. Contact us today to learn more about how you can expand your business in the Caribbean.