SANTIAGO, Chile, November 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
When we speak of exports, we usually associate them with products such as fruit or wine; however, technology and education, for example, also go out into the world to provide effective solutions and opportunities for development. This is the behavior shown by countries such as China, India, Korea, Brazil, Mexico and Russia, which are currently the leading countries in the export of services. Chile also figures as an important supplier in this worldwide trend.
According to the World Trade Organization, services generate two thirds of the world total of added value, and their exports are growing at rates above 10%. In Chile, the export of services in 2010 reached US$10,800 million; it has grown at rates averaging 9% over the past decade and accounts for 60% of GDP, and 70% of the labor force. Furthermore, it is estimated that the export of Chilean services will reach US$13,000 million by the end of 2011.
In addition to being a sector in development, the chief advantage of the export of services lies in the fact that it is a commercial opportunity allowing for an exchange of knowledge and experience, which confers added value on what is exported. By themselves, commodities and natural resources do not make it possible to generate the margins necessary for the development of the economy, which is why developed countries also foster the development of human resources through education, creativity and innovation to support the advance of this sector which is, in addition, more stable in situations of economic crisis.
As a result of the economic development achieved in recent decades, the solidity of Chilean institutions and the commercial liberalization expressed in numerous free trade treaties, Chile has become a natural connecting bridge between the Americas and the world, and thereby it currently has access to a potential market of 4 billion individuals on five continents, who have already started to become familiar with the level of professionalism in Chile, the numerous services available and the rich supply of exportable products.
Argentina is the main recipient also with regard to services (27%), followed by Peru (23%), the United States (14%), Brazil (13%) and Colombia (6%). These five locations account for 83% of the direct investment in the sector.
Some key sectors
The objective of the Digital Strategy is to contribute to the country's economic and social development through the potential provided by the use of information and communication technologies to improve the quality of life of the population and encourage the development of the country.
In 2009, exports from this sector added up to US$718 million, with the main markets Latin America (42.3%) and the United States (29.2%).
Within the array of services that this sector has to offer are those involving Hardware, Software, IT Services, Software customization, Online Services, ITO (Information Technology Outsourcing), BPO Telecommunications, computing, and Call Centers.
Chile is considered one of the most technologically and electronically advanced countries in the region, as a result of which it attracts investments from businesses with high technological value. As an example, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has identified Chile as a country that has the best electronic preparation in the region, while the Networked Readiness Index 2010-2011, published by the World Economic Forum, ranks Chile in 39th place among 138 economies, leading Latin America.
The provision of multilingual services and its geographical proximity make Chile a nearshore center for clients in the U.S., which is Chile's second largest export market, with 21.1%. First place is held by South America, with 50.4%, while Europe is in third place, with 18.9%.
With regard to education, increasing the number of higher education institutions of recognized prestige, based on the quality of their academics and professional staff, infrastructure and cutting edge technology, makes it possible to have an exportable supply of university services of excellence. More than 50% of the universities of Santiago, both public as well as private, offer post graduate programs in a variety of fields: engineering sciences, administration, agricultural disciplines and ocean sciences; art and architecture; natural sciences and mathematics; social sciences; education; technology and health, among others.
Increasing the number of foreign students at Chilean universities is the main objective of this sector. In 2010, the higher education system was made up of 177 institutions: 60 universities, 44 vocational institutes and 73 centers for technical training. According to the OECD report, "Education at a Glance 2011" in 2009, Higher Education in Chile presented around 12,200 foreign students who entered the country; of these, almost 80% were at Universities, which signifies estimated revenues of more than US$160 million annually under the headings of matriculation and living expenses.