Software Export: a New Sector Generating About 7,000 Jobs a Year

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The Commission of Software Export of AGEXPORT, just turned seven years, promoting the internationalization of companies in the sector of Information Technology. During this time, it has generated about 7,000 jobs per year and has presented an average annual growth of 14.9% in exports.

Data processing, biometric security, software design, BPM (Business Process and Performance Management), e-commerce, custom solutions, mobile solutions, HR solutions for utilities, IT consultancies, are some of the services offered by companies that make up the Committee on Export Software, founded in 2005.

In 2011, SOFEX closed with $ 74 million in foreign sales, exceeding 14.9% on those of 2010, with projects located in Central America, South America, Mexico, the United States, the Caribbean and Europe, creating high expectations for end of 2012, with the projection of closing with U.S. $ 88 million.

Guatemala has positioned itself as a globally competitive country in the field of Software Export, because it has exceeded its major challenges, such as maintaining a trained human resource, having accreditations to certify companies as suppliers and unify international efforts between academia, industry and government, said Edgar Santos, President of the Commission of Software Export, SOFEX.

With a large export market to the United States, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, SOFEX has generated in the last three years, an average of 7000 jobs and, at the end of 2012, is expected to exceed the target of 7.549 working spaces.

The plans for this sector are very ambitious and will enable the country to achieve an important place in international software development. Our market is large and the opportunities are diverse; it is evident that Guatemalan professional talent allows a rapid growth of these businesses, said Santos.

Among the successful Guatemalan companies, stands Tech4mobile, which developed five years ago Bank4mobile system, which currently processes over 50 million transactions annually for banks in the region and, two years ago, launched the emergency chain system, winner of the WSA-mobile global award, given by the UN.

In addition, the company Strategic Solutions created the application "Payments and Transfers Visa" available on Apple App Store, BlackBerry AppWorld and Google Play.

From success stories as the previous two, in September 2011, SOFEX, in conjunction with Contact Centers and DIGITAL GT, with the support of AGEXPORT Competitiveness Division, presented to political parties elected to the second round, the proposal "Guatemala, Headquarters of Digital Talent" which presents the policies needed to promote the development of ICT sector, Information and Communication Technology, with the aim of opening formal employment opportunities and quality not only in the city but in inside the Republic.

The proposal "Guatemala, Headquarters of Digital Talent" includes four areas: human resources with global competencies, attract high-value investment, improve competitiveness, and positioning and image of the country.

SOFEX has demonstrated that it has the talent and human resources with global competencies, key to position the country in projects in the region and elsewhere, Santos concluded.

Guatemala: Competitive advantages, ICT Competitiveness Index, 2010-2011

1. Competition ISPs
26. Number of procedures to enforce contract
32. Number of mobile phone subscriptions
35. Business telephone monthly subscription
36. E-participation index
39. Impact new organizational models
40. Quality local bidder
40. Internet usage in enterprises
42. Freedom of the press
42. Level cluster development

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Marlene Martínez
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