Chamber concerned by corporate outsourcing
The outsourcing of work to other countries by Bermudian businesses is a concern, the president of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce has said.
Nathan Kowalski was speaking during a question-and-answer session after the Chamber released the results of its Business Barometer Survey of 107 member businesses.
The survey, conducted by Narrative Research Bermuda, showed that 19 per cent of businesses have done more outsourcing to other jurisdictions since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic – and 35 per cent of those businesses say they will continue to outsource to other jurisdictions.
Mr Kowalski noted that the island’s gross domestic product – the number of people working here and how productive they are – has flatlined in recent years.
He said of the survey results: “That worries me. We don’t want to develop a kind of systematic attitude that ‘well, if I can’t get someone here, forget it, I’ll just do it overseas’ – and unfortunately, you’re hearing that a bit, and I don’t like to hear that.”
He added: “I would like to hear the idea that getting someone on island is easy. I don’t think we’ll ever say cheaper, but maybe more efficient. They might cost more, but it’s better to have them here.
“And that’s what I want to hear. It’s when I see those elements of the survey that it kind of worries me because it’s not going to contribute to that growth that we need.”
Later, he added: “I am a little bit concerned on the continued acceptance and/or move to consideration of outsourcing and how it may affect future employment growth in Bermuda if hiring continues to be frustrated or is a challenge.”
The online survey took place between August 9 and September 16 last year.
The results, announced this week, are meant to be a snapshot of the overall health of businesses in Bermuda and what changes are necessary to move forward post-pandemic.