National software industry triples sales volume to US$2.8bn since 2003

Monday, April 11, 2011

The sales volume of Argentina's software industry hit US$2.8bn in 2010, tripling the level registered in 2003, according to a release from the industry ministry.

Sector exports have grown steadily since 2003, reaching US$629mn in 2010 and accounting for 25% of total sales, according to the ministry.

The ministry highlighted local software companies including SIA Interactive, Intersoft and Sistemas Bejerman for their expansion. SIA Interactive, for example, currently exports 70% of its products to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Thailand and Vietnam.

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The ministry noted that Intersoft nearly doubled its sales volume between 2003 and 2010, to US$5.4mn, while Sistemas Bejerman has doubled its staff, released 30 new versions of its programs and developed 12 new ones.

Mercosur countries account for about 25% of the industry's foreign sales, while 20% goes to the US and Canada. The ministry also highlighted Chile, Mexico and Spain as destinations for the industry's products.

On top of the sector's growth, the ministry underlined its high grade of professionalization, as 70% of workers are either college-trained professionals or highly qualified technicians. The ministry said the industry has tripled its personnel, surpassing 60,000 total employees, and noted that each new job in the sector generates a turnover of US$40,000.

The local industry is young, as 40% of software firms are less than six years old and 62.5% of the 1,600 companies are SMEs.

According to the ministry, the sector has prospered with help from a strong domestic market, stable macroeconomic conditions and state initiatives such as a software promotion law.

Recently, President Cristina Fernández said she would send amendments to congress regarding the software promotion law. According to industry minister Débora Giorgi, the modifications would extend the software industry promotion regimen an additional five years, lasting until 2019. The law offers tax vouchers and rebates for companies in the industry and aims to promote electronics manufacturing in Argentina.