InvestChile launches strategy to raise exports of Global Services to US$5,000 million by 2020
• The opening of offices overseas, business missions and a series of measures as regards the formation of human capital and data protection were announced yesterday by the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency, the Ministries of Economy and Finance and the government’s Economic Development Agency (CORFO).
A new strategy to promote investment in Global Services, led by InvestChile, was launched yesterday. Its aim is to attract 20 high-technology centers to Chile and help increase the country’s exports of services to US$5,000 million by 2020. At the launch event, headed by the Minister of Economy, Economic Development and Tourism, Luis Felipe Céspedes, and attended by the Undersecretary for Finance, Alejandro Micco, the Director of InvestChile, Carlos Álvarez, and the Executive Vice-President of CORFO, Eduardo Bitrán, a series of initiatives were announced relating to investment attraction, data protection and the formation of human capital. These initiatives seek to grow the country’s exports of global services, which currently reach US$3,000 million, and position Chile as one of the region’s three most important markets.
Minister Céspedes indicated that the Economy Ministry will be working together with the Finance Ministry, ProChile and InvestChile to create the conditions “that allow us to transform this global services sector into a high-growth sector so as to permit the creation of more and better job opportunities for our professionals and other workers and, without doubt, allow us to build a better country.”
Undersecretary for Finance Alejandro Micco drew attention to the progress the Ministry has achieved as regards the export of services and announced that, in January, it will be presenting to Congress a bill on the protection of personal data since this is a key factor for the development of an industry that exports technological services. He also announced that studies to facilitate trade in services within the Pacific Alliance are being prepared and will receive support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). In addition, a study of financing gaps in service exporters will be carried out with the support of Chile’s Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (ABIF) and the IDB. Finally, Undersecretary Micco promised IT training programs for 1,000 technicians and professionals.
Overseas missions and offices abroad
Under the strategy announced by InvestChile, on which it has been advised by ECLAC, it will be opening investment promotion offices in San Francisco (United States), Frankfurt (Germany) and Tokyo (Japan). The Agency’s Director, Carlos Álvarez, also indicated that “we will have exploratory offices in Spain, the United Kingdom and China which will enable us to define specific strategies for these markets.” He added that the Agency will be undertaking eight missions to other countries to search for companies in areas such as exportable business and digital services, companies that strengthen the digital ecosystem and companies working on the industrial internet, which includes artificial intelligence and the internet of things. “We are talking about a sector with annual exports of US$300,000 million in which Chile can play a relevant role. In this area, Chile is growing ahead of the world trend. Our mission is to position Chile in investors’ minds as an exceptional place from which to export services, particularly because of the talent of its professionals and technicians,” said Álvarez.
CORFO’s Executive Vice-President, Eduardo Bitrán, indicated that the formation of human capital is one of the key lines of action that the institution will be promoting. He announced that, together with the Ministry of Education, it will be implementing a plan of specialization in Programming in state technical secondary schools. He also highlighted the role of the Ingeniería 2030 initiative, “thanks to which engineering faculties will promote the development of Innovation and Technology,” and the benefits of programs such as that for labor reconversion, which has enabled women with professional and technical degrees to join the ICT industry as programmers.
The launch event was also attended by Eleonora Rabinovich, Southern Cone Manager for Public Policies and Government Affairs at Google, who highlighted this company’s commitment to Chile as reflected in the installation of its Data Center in Santiago’s Quilicura district, and Stephen Liston, Vice-President for Global Government Relations at Equifax, who announced that the company will be investing in the expansion of its Technological Development Center in Chile which will employ 160 professionals.