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The Chilean government has worked hard in the last few years to invest in educating its residents, and that has shown through the improvements in the IT industries. If you’re considering doing business in Chile, it’s important to understand human capital trends in the country. Here’s everything you need to know.
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Tech Graduates & Workforce
The education investment in Chile has paid off. In 2017, the federal government spent more than 20% of their budget on education, and it’s resulted in huge benefits for its residents. There have been some impressive developments in the IT sector in recent years, too, including:
- Chile has the third highest growth rate in the IT sector among all Latin American countries at 6.5%.
- The country is part of the Eureka Network, which includes 45 other countries for R&D on an international scale.
- The country provides incentives for technical training as well as options to co-finance the development of IT infrastructure.
- There are roughly 150 tech companies in the country, and another 800 that focus on apps, animation and video games.
- Chile has free trade agreements with 65 countries, representing a $3 trillion market.
- There are four tech hubs in the country, located in Santiago, Concepcion, Punta Arenas and Valparaiso.
Key Sectors for Local Activity
Chile is often regarded as the most prosperous country in all of South America. A main reason for this is its diverse economy. Here’s an overview of the country’s main business sectors:
- Agriculture: This industry employs almost 14% of the country’s workers and accounts for almost 5% of its GDP. Fishing, forestry and logging are huge in Chile, as are agriculture produce and meats. Chile has the benefit of stretching far from north to south, allowing it to take advantage of various climates that other countries don’t have.
- Mining: Foreign investors have seen mining in Chile as a huge source of income. There are enormous copper deposits in Chile, and it’s become known as the capital of mining for copper across the world. There are also deposits of coal, iron, silver and gold.
- Services: The service sector is a huge area of development in recent years. The government has focused heavily on the services sector, with IT and communications leading the way.
- Tourism: The country has a wide variety of landscapes that attract many tourists from around the world.
Key Sectors for Outsourcing
Chile has become a huge destination for IT and BPO service outsourcing. Back in 2008, the country brought in roughly $843 million from outsourcing activities in these sectors alone, and that’s expected to increase steadily in the next few years.
The continued increase in education throughout the country as well as the positive economic environment for business are helping that.
Spanish is the primary language spoken in Chile, but many IT employees in the country speak English fluently as well. This is especially true for some of the more recent graduates from colleges and universities. On a country-wide level, only Argentina and Costa Rica speak English at a higher rate than Chile in Latin America.
The differences in wages is a main reason why companies outsource work to Chile. In Chile, a software developer earns on average roughly $28,480 per year. In the United States, this same worker would earn an average of roughly $74,532 per year.
Wages in Chile are roughly 2.6 times less than they are in the United States. This is a huge savings that is realized for all levels of workers in the IT field.
Prominent Cities for Business
The capital city of Santiago is one of the biggest centers of business and tech activity in Chile. In addition to being a popular tourist destination, it’s home to a huge business center.
Some other top cities for business in Chile include:
- Valparaiso: In addition to a very important historic center, Valparaiso is home to one of the country’s tech hubs. It’s one of the most important cities to Chile.
- Punta Arenas: Punta Arenas is the southernmost continental town in the world. It’s a huge hub for transportation, and it is the home port for many cruises that depart from Chile.
- Iquique: Many tourists love to come to this city every year. In addition to tourism, the region is home to tech hubs and developing businesses.
Chile has some of the most engaged workers in the world. According to a Gallup poll, 39% of the country’s workforce is considered engaged, compared to only 13% for the rest of the world.
This is important, because the more engaged employees are, the less likely they are to leave their company. This means that the turnover rate for employees in Chile is often significantly lower than it is in other countries. This helps with continuity on projects that companies outsource to the country.
Is Chile Right for Your Business?
SERVIAP is a leading Professional Employer Organization (PEO) ready to help your business expand operations throughout the Western Hemisphere. PEO is a model of co-employment, where we assume total responsibility for your talent, allowing you to focus on the strategic activities of your organization. Contact us today to learn more about how you can expand your business in Chile.