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Contact: Julita Peter

Thursday, January 13, 2005 - The Government of St. Lucia has welcomed Jamaican-based business process outsourcing outfit, E-Services Limited to the island. The company is injecting a considerable amount of investment in St. Lucia, in the form of technology and human capital.

The opportunity came for Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony and Commerce, Investment and Consumer Affairs Minister, Hon. Philip J. Pierre, at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at Cara Suites, between Chief Executive Officer of E-Services Limited, Patrick Casserly, and local businessman Dunstan Du Boulay, owner of the former Bottlers St. Lucia Limited factory at Vide Boutielle. Mr. Du Boulay has agreed to refurbish the building from which the company will begin operation within six months.

Luring this investment into the island was no mean feat, considering that by the end of this year, some 150 jobs will be created, there will be business for ancillary service providers, there will be transfer of technology, and transfer of knowledge, as St. Lucia strives to become a knowledge-base economy, given the demise of manufacturing here and in the region.

In particular, E-Services will be doing business for the Fortune 500 companies, and St. Lucian workers will have the opportunity to be trained in their culture and service level. This is very significant, according to General Manager of National Development Corporation (NDC), Wayne Vitalis.

According to the E-Services’ Chief Executive Officer, the nearly four-year-old information and communication technology company, which last year earned more than J$1.2 billion, is here not to compete with existing companies, but to generate employment. The company, he said has an enviable record in Jamaica for its zero number of lay offs since it began operation.

“People talk about this sector as being IT, but really, it is about people; you can have all the phones in the world, all the computers in the world, the greatest technology, but if you do not have motivated people, who feel recognized in their jobs, you will fail. E-services from its outset has made a basic rule, we never owe a promise, either to our employees or to the countries we are in, or the government; we simply tell you what we are going to do”, Mr. Casserly said.

Tuesday’s MOU was made possible through the unrelenting effort of the NDC and its Board of Directors. Mr. Vitalis has described the joint venture as a true and viable one. He added that too often small economies are seeking to attract investments from metropolitan counties, while failing to see the real opportunities that exist within their own geographic region. “I say so because I have often contended that small economies like ours must find the niche in investment promotions within which to operate and to attract investment that will benefit its country,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Du Boulay, who has been operating a local soft drink factory for many years, said he was extremely proud to be associated with E-Services Limited. “The National Development Corporation has been working for many years to attract an enterprise of this magnitude, and I think it is true to say that this can be regarded as fine catch by the NDC which will open the door to many other investment opportunities.”

Commenting on the coming of E-Services to St. Lucia, Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony said the NDC needed to be praised for this achievement. He said the NDC, which historically sought foreign investments in the garment manufacturing industry had to change its focus, as St. Lucia and other islands in the region have lost those investments to Asia.

According to Dr. Anthony, “There is a growing army of young people particularly secondary school graduates that we have to look after. This is why this sector is so key and so important, and why this Government had decided that it would work very closely, not only with other companies operating here, but with E-Services to make a success of the sector. Yes, we need every job particularly at this time.”

Although the government is eager for investment, Dr. Anthony said experiences of the past have taught that it must move with extreme caution. However, the Prime Minister said in the case of E-Services Limited, the company has given a credible account of itself.

E-Services Ltd. currently manages approximately 2 million customer contacts per day through telephone, e-mail, Internet, traditional mail, and other media.

Commerce and investment Minister Hon. Philip J. Pierre, who has visited the company’s plant in Jamaica, believes that the company is bringing sustainable and profitable business to the island: “The Government of St. Lucia really takes the business of investment seriously. We know that there’s got to be foreign direct investment so that we can expand the economy. We really need to expand the economy to create growth, to create jobs and when that expansion comes from a CARICOM firm, that is good and it shows that the CSME is getting on stream, and the difference is that there is a real cultural link between firms from CARICOM and St. Lucia.”

E-Services provides outsourced customer support services to clients in the automotive, consumer, financial services, insurance, technology, telecommunications, and utility industries. These clients include major international companies, such as Phillips, United Health Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Colonial Penn, Bankers Life and Causality, NTT Verio and Information Resources Incorporated.

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