Exporting global services from the end of the world

With its global services sector expanding at an annual rate of around 11%, two percentage points ahead of the international average, Chile expects exports of these services to reach US$5,000 million by 2020.

The development of new information technologies and, particularly, the massification of Internet have fostered the internationalization of services. This process has permeated both the economy and people’s daily lives, resulting in an unprecedented transformation of the production structure.

Chile is part of this trend and, according to Ericsson Consumer Lab 2015, has the world’s highest percentage of netizens (33% of Internet users are considered to make intensive use of it, well above the global average of 20%). Internet penetration as a percentage of the total population is also the highest in Latin America at 76% of permanent users.

High standards of connectivity and advanced technological infrastructure are accompanied by a stable and consolidated economy and human capital whose talent has been recognized in different international rankings. The country’s ecosystem is also complemented by different initiatives and incentives such as Start-Up Chile and Visa Tech that are designed to attract technology professionals.  

In this context, it is no surprise that over 60 multinationals have chosen Chile as a hub from which to export services to clients around the world. In recent years, cities like Valparaíso, Temuco and Concepción have emerged as virtuous ecosystems, joining Santiago as potential locations for the installation of companies offering global services as well as for Centers of International Excellence. 

With an annual growth rate that some estimate to be around 11%, two percentage points ahead of the international average, Chile’s global services sector is expected to reach exports of US$5,000 million by 2020.

IT leaders

Companies on the scale of Google, IBM, Indra, Everis, Evalueserve, Synopsis, Amazon Web Services and Wipro are among those that have had operations in Chile for some time now. India’s Wipro, a global leader in information technologies and consulting and business processing services, chose Santiago as the venue for its first IT Leaders Meeting.

The event, which took place in mid-April, was chaired by Ankur Prakash, Vice-President, Manufacturing SBU and Ibero-America at Wipro, who talked about the development of the digital transformation in Latin America as well as the growth and forefront position that characterize Chile as regards digital innovation. He also indicated that, after eight years operating in Chile, Wipro views the country as a key pillar of its consolidation in the region.

“Chile is a market with great potential due to the important presence of global and regional companies with a strong focus on the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies geared to the digital transformation,” noted Prakash during the event. He added that “Chile has been at the forefront of many aspects of innovation and Wipro is an ally of local companies for continuing along this path and developing new strategies and solutions that continue to position Chile in the eyes of the world.”

In the past year, Chile has been at the center of news about the technology sector, thanks to the installation of submarine optical fiber cables in the center and south of the country; the implementation of public policies like Visa Tech that favor the export of services; the installation of new long-range telescopes in the far north; the establishment of international R&D centers in different places around the country; and rankings that identify its universities as regional leaders in information and other technologies, mathematics and economics.

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