ICT industry isn't a priority for the goverment, says Gechs

Friday, August 26, 2011

The government has "other priorities" than promoting the ICT Industry, Luis Stein, president of the Chilean software and IT services industry association Gechs, told BNamericas.

ICT has a direct impact on the competiveness of all other sectors, and so it is "very difficult" to understand why the government is not doing more to promote the industry, he said. "What we need is a ministry of economy, science and technology."

Stein compared Chile's situation to that of other countries around the region, like Brazil and Uruguay. In these countries, he said, the governments have a public strategy to promote industry development to the overall benefit of the country.

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For example, he said, Brazil is "a monster" in terms of its capacity to develop and encourage the IT industry, while Uruguay might be "a small country, but with an amazing strategy" with regards to ICT plans. "The Uruguayan government has a very clear vision about the cause and effect of public policies related to technology," Stein said.

According to Stein, last year the World Business Alliance said in a report that the European Union's competiveness increased 40% because of government implementations of ICT policies. "As you can see, we are no longer a vertical industry. We are an industry that has an impact in the competiveness of all other industries," the Gechs executive said.

Gechs will continue working in partnership with the local IT and telecoms association Acti and the electric industry association AIE to "push" for recognition related to the importance of the sector," said Stein. "We want to have representation. Chile has some [economic] advantages compared to other countries in the region, but everyday these advantages are diminishing."