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Chile's software and IT services industries are expected to grow 13-15% during 2013, maintaining similar levels to those seen during 2012, IT association ACTI president Jaime Soto told BNamericas.
The software sector has grown 13% in 2012 compared to the previous year, while the services sector has expanded 15%, Soto said, citing IDC figures.
Chile's software market was worth US$644mn in 2011, while IT services were worth US$1.26bn last year, according to an IDC report.
The number of smartphones in Chile rose by 25% during 2012, and the growth of such devices is expected to be maintained in 2013 as 4G services will be launched in the country, Soto added.
Regarding major business opportunities in Chile's IT sector for 2013, Soto highlighted the strong potential to sell software and services to the SME segment, which is an "exponential growth market for technological development."
However, challenges remain regarding how to sell to SMEs. This requires a joint effort between the industry and government initiatives to promote increasing technological adoption among micro-entrepreneurs in the country, according to Soto.
Regarding the IT services industry, Chile is becoming a regional center and has strong potential to grow exports.
Chile is a politically stable country with a highly transparent business environment and strong economic growth figures. The "Chile brand" is significant, and the country's positive international image will help it to become a regional IT services center.
Services exports from Chile could be leveraged throughout Latin America, particularly in markets such as Colombia and Peru.
The US may also be an attractive destination for such exports due to the minimal time difference between the two countries, Soto said, adding that Chile must continue to promote English speaking in order to continue growing its IT service exports.