It is apparent to anyone with eyes that the 21st century has entered global connectivity via the internet. The internet has removed the barriers of distance, language, and culture for people looking to do business anywhere in the world. Many companies, individuals, and digital platforms have taken advantage of this fact. Now one can live in Jamaica and run a successful Drop Shipping business in the United States. One can source products in China via the internet on platforms like Alibaba, and Aliexpress, then set up a fulfillment center with Amazon, just like that, I have a business with the potential to make millions yearly. All this is made possible due to the internet and many digital platforms like Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, etc.
A fully develop and efficient Digital Infrastructure, hold tremendous benefits for Jamaica. Some of these benefits include ease of doing business, significant connectivity with the global economy, and more opportunities for Jamaican citizens.
Ease of Doing Business in Jamaica
With a fully developed digital infrastructure in place, the ability for investors to do business in Jamaica becomes a remarkable easier. This means that Jamaica would benefit from a huge flow of capital both from within and outside of Jamaica, to do business. For example, let’s say a Jamaican company could set up a good design and build a digital and physical infrastructure for a logistics hub for delivery of goods throughout Jamaica and the Caribbean. This development would be a gold mine for investment, this would allow companies like Amazon, Shopify to invest in Jamaica to set up fulfillment centers in Jamaica to expand their business through the Caribbean a very untapped market for eCommerce. This also benefits the average Jamaican shoppers as well as Jamaica products. Shoppers can now get cheaper products due to fewer custom taxes and Jamaica products can be listed on Amazon or any other platform and take advantage of their distribution centers.
Jamaica Greater Connectivity with the Global Economy.
A strong digital economy offers Jamaica connectivity to the global economy, which would produce immediate results. Where talking about connectivity where data and documents are readily available to secure business deals and opportunities. Connectivity where funds can flow in and out of Jamaica with ease to conduct business. Take banking, for example, it still takes up to full-day transfer funds between different banks in Jamaica. Not to mention international bank transfers. This lack of efficiency results in less global connectivity.
The ability to send money to friends and family bank accounts via Western union is still a hassle. How is it still this difficult when the remittance is a huge source of foreign exchange for Jamaica and Banks? There is also the delay of up to 3 business days to get the money to your account which makes in-person pick up more popular. During covid, if you say the lines downtown Kingston to pick up the money. Having a more efficient and digitized banking infrastructure and can maximize business in Jamaica 2 fold immediately.
More opportunities for Jamaicans
The digital age has created many opportunities for Jamaicans, Myself included. However, I know for a fact that Jamaica still has not developed enough digital for every Jamaican to take advantage of opportunities out there in the digital market place which is many. Recently I have seen many Jamaican Youtubers and bloggers, this has created for many of them income high above the average Jamaica salary. There still many more in rural Jamaica that can’t take advantage due to lack of internet connectivity.
Once Jamaica can make internet connectivity widely available, the benefits will be apparent in now time. The remote work industry has been growing for years in so many business sectors, from computer coding, accounting, writing, video editing, translation, data entry and so much more. These are all jobs and opportunities that Jamaicans can seize if they have access to the internet. There are also so many free certifications online to get Jamaicans ready for work. They are also many remote work digital platform marketplace to sell your skills for example Upwork.
Covid19 has accelerated remote work adaptation. Many huge International companies will make some employees work from home permanently. This will create more opportunities for countries like Jamaica that have a huge tourism sector. A new business model is now emerging that encourages remote workers to live and work at a tourist destination. Jamaica is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean can benefit tremendously. However, again a fast reliable internet and other digital development will be necessary to take advantage of this opportunity.
There are so many more opportunities and benefits for a well developed digital infrastructure that can be mention. However, that would result in a longer than is needed article. With that said, let’s acknowledge the obvious problem with a fully digitized economy. That would be the security of personal and business data. Data Security is indeed a huge problem that should make any sane person worried. However, the benefits of digitization far outweigh the worries. Hence, why all major international company is investing heavily in digitization as well as cybersecurity.