SPi was one among the four IT/BPO firms that won approval from the Free Zone Management Council.
The BPO provider, which launched its Nicaraguan operations about two years ago in Managua, has reportedly pledged to invest more than $500,000 into the new facility and create as many as 50 direct jobs.
SPi Technologies is a subsidiary of Philippines’ BPO provider SPi Global, but its Nicaraguan operation is more or less controlled by its Japanese rival Relia, which purchased SPi’s CRM business last year.
The other IT/BPO firms permitted to operate in the free zone include OOQIA SA, a software development firm, and local call center operators DMF and Xperts.
DMF and OOQIA have reportedly promised to invest in excess of $2 million each and generate about 100 jobs. Xperts is talking of creating more than 600 jobs and investing $1.8 million.
Free zones have become attractive hunting grounds for foreign firms entering Nicaragua, because they offer wide-ranging incentives such as tax-breaks.
Comprised of 45 industrial parks across the nation, free zone accounts for 15% of the formal employment in Nicaragua. Nearly 50% of companies involved in exportation are in the free zone.
Nicaragua’s BPO industry is also growing steadily. According to ProNicaragua, the country’s investment promotion agency, the industry has employed more than 8,000 people, with new outsourcing firms, including Quality Contact Centers (QC2), setting up operations last year.