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InvestChile holds workshop to boost global services industry

  • The workshop, attended by representatives of the public and private sectors, placed particular emphasis on factors related to the facilitation of trade in services and on Chile’s advantages and challenges as regards human capital.

The well-attended workshop brought together the main players in Chile’s global services industry who discussed the sector’s key challenges together with representatives of the public sector.

Organized by InvestChile, the meeting was attended by companies of the importance of ExperianEquifaxSynopsysMentor GraphicsNisumEverisAccentureBecton Dickinson,  WiproEvalueserve and IBM, among others, and by representatives of the Finance MinistryCORFO, the National Tax Service (SII)SENCE and the National Customs Service.

The workshop placed particular emphasis on factors that can help to boost exports of global services, particularly the facilitation of trade in services and the country’s challenges as regards human capital. For those attending, it was an opportunity to hear at first-hand about the work the government is doing in this field.

“Chile is essentially an exporter; today more than 50% of its exports are non-copper and human capital is one of the country’s strategic resources. Chile has positioned itself as a country with sophisticated talent and has some of Latin America’s best universities. However, much remains to be done and there are still challenges if this very important factor is to become the central pillar of our economy’s growth,” said the acting director of InvestChile, Ian Frederick.

Frederick also talked about InvestChile’s aftercare and policy advocacy services whose principal function is to support companies that already have operations in Chile, resolving their doubts, identifying their needs and contributing to the creation of public policies that enhance the country’s business climate.

“As a government, we are aware that we are essential for putting these issues at the center of public policy on economic growth,” said Frederick, highlighting the importance in this field of the work of the Finance Ministry’s Technical Public-Private Committee for the Export of Services in which InvestChile leads the Human Capital sub-committee.

Joseph Nehme, coordinator of the Finance Ministry’s Foreign Trade Facilitation Unit highlighted Chile’s export vocation and its over 60 trade agreements. “One of our principal challenges is to diversify our export basket and, in addition, to attract investment. We want service exports to become a much larger component of GDP and also for the sector to be attractive to investors,” he said, adding that jobs in this sector are characterized by their high level of sophistication.

Nehme noted that Chile’s comparative advantages include its know-how about exporting, the high standards of the country’s human capital, the same time zone as countries in the northern hemisphere, its numerous trade and double taxation agreements and high indices of digital connectivity.

He also indicated that there is a program of support for global services related to an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that involves a number of public services, including InvestChile, ProChile, the Ministry of Cultures and the Arts, CORFO and SENCE. This program seeks to build business and investment attraction capabilities, to improve the quality of human talent and its alignment with the sector’s needs and to generate an ecosystem and institutional collaboration.

The talks were followed by two consecutive workshops. The first, on Facilitation of Trade in Services, included presentations by the National Customs Service and the National Tax Service while the second focused on Challenges in Human Capital with presentations by CORFO, SENCE and IDC Consulting.

The event concluded with a round of questions in which the participants had an opportunity to raise their concerns, draw attention to gaps and talk about trends in the sector and its challenges with the authorities and representatives of public services attending the workshop.

The challenges identified by the participants included the need to update a series of norms that still hamper the industry’s development in the international context. In the case of human capital, they indicated that it is extremely important that more people be able to communicate in English and for there to be more incentives for women to work in technology sectors. They also highlighted the work that has been done to facilitate the sector’s development through initiatives such as Visa Tech and the Human Capital Scholarships led by CORFO and SENCE.

See some pictures of the workshop.