Colombia is a rapidly growing market ripe for IT and tech sector growth as it actively works to promote the country as a world player for IT solutions and services through a new campaign.
The "Colombia Bring IT On" campaign, led by group Proexport Colombia, is aiming to promote the country's technology sector internationally and help establish the country as a world player for IT solutions and services. Already the third largest market in Latin America, behind Brazil and Mexico, IDC predicts that the size of the IT and software sector in Colombia will grow from $3 billion to double that figure by 2018.
"One of the reasons that we're doing this is a lot of people don't think about Colombia as a destination for doing business, so that’s why we built a campaign to create awareness nationally so investors, and possibly buyers, can think about Colombia as a destination for IT solutions," Juan Esteban Medina, director of export services at Proexport Colombia, said.
Proexport Colombia is the official agency to help the country promote tourism, direct foreign investment and nontraditional exports. While this latest campaign focuses on exports of technology and services, there are a variety of programs to support all aspects of a Colombian economy expansion.
For IT solutions and services, Medina sold the benefits of Colombia as quality talent, flexible workforce, with the strong support of the country's government and with an easy flight connection and time zone continuity with much of North America. He said that he sees all sorts of tech businesses looking to work with the country, including gaming, software factories, application development, marketing, help desk, specialized IT outsourcing and tech support. With all of the variety of talent, Medina said that he sees demand from small and big companies alike.
"We don't want to position ourselves as a low-cost talent. We are very competitive if you compare [us] to other salaries in the region in Latin America; we want to position ourselves as good talent, best-quality talent in the region, and we have one of the fastest-growing economies in the region ... We are in a really good position right now," Medina said.
The Colombia technology sector is growing rapidly already, Medina said, with 170 percent year-over-year growth for the past five years. Medina said he expects that growth to accelerate going forward, especially as the Colombian government continues to invest in getting tech talent ready for new solutions, including certifications, training, specialized courses and more.
"It's really growing at a fast pace. We have the best qualified talent in the sector of Latin America. That puts us in a really good position, and already we are really competitive as compared to other countries," Medina said. "We are expecting to grow more, and we are expecting to triple within four years the number of business that we do right now."
PUBLISHED JULY 24, 2014