Chile, like many other emerging countries, is focusing a great deal of effort on exporting services, especially high-tech services. Chile is concentrating on key sectors such as information and communication technologies (ICTs) and training.
In 2010, services made a $10.8 billion contribution to Chile’s exports. This figure continues to grow, and is expected to reach $13 billion by the end of 2011, according to a World Trade Organisation report. This growth is largely due to the country’s overall economic development and strong institutions, boosted by the trade liberalisation which has come about through numerous free trade agreements. Seen as one of the most advanced technological regions in the Americas, Chile exports services to Argentina (27%), Peru (23%), the United States (14%), Brazil (13%), and Colombia (6%).
ICT, a key part of Chile’s technological policy
Chile has been focusing on key sectors such as information and communication technologies. In 2009 ICT-related exports represented $718 million, going mainly to Latin America (42.3%) and the United States (29.2%). These figures encompass IT services, software and hardware development, and also call centres, whose growth has seen the number of jobs garnered through outsourcing from other countries rise from 20,000 in 2008 to 30,000 this year. Due to its strategic geographical position and its multilingual service provision, Chile has also succeeded in attracting a substantial amount of foreign investment into high value sectors such as biotechnology companies providing specialised products for nutrition, health or agribusiness.
Improving training to generate new sources of revenue
Chile has also made a decision to provide high-quality teaching in advanced technology subjects in order to attract high-flying foreign students. In 2009 more than 12,200 such students were studying in 177 universities or institutes of higher learning, bringing in over $160 million a year in tuition fees and daily spending. Chile has also entered the lucrative video games market, whose worldwide revenues are estimated to reach $68 million in 2012. At the present time there are 17 Chile-based companies developing various kinds of – mainly online – gaming platforms and exports in this area are forecast to rise from around $3 million last year to $15 million in 2012.