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Radiography of Colombian software industry

The software industry in Colombia lives boom years. Its sales have been growing at double digits in recent years, and increase its importance in the GDP accounts. The exports already reached a rate that exceeds the rest of the economy.

Only in 2013, the expectation of sales was around five billion pesos, with a growth of over 20 percent from the previous year, which places it as one of the sectors flag between the criticized innovation actions.

The latest industry report, prepared by the Colombian Federation of Software Industry (Fedesoft) shows that the income of the companies of this economic sector have increased in the past five years by 0,6 points of GDP until reached the 1.7 percent in 2012.

In terms of exports, the industry saw this figure increases steadily over the past five years. In 2012, “exports grew by 11 percent more compared with the rest of the economy”, according to a report by Fedesoft.

However, it is not all good news for the software industry in Colombia. Problems such as lack of workforce and barriers in financing have become some of the major headaches for the companies.

The Fedesoft’s numbers show that between 2011 and August 2013 the companies received credits from Bancóldex of 238,8 million pesos. Number that for industry represents “a tiny percentage” when compared with the cumulative total of funds allocated to all economic sectors (seven billion pesos, only in 2013).

The main limitation for the sector’s companies in financing their projects is the lack of fixed assets that can serve as guarantee to the financial system. “You can not forget that companies in the sector are intensive in certificated skilled, and assets are represented in the software developed“, explains Fedesoft.

Another big problem is the lack of talent. Although unemployment in the country afflicts just 9 percent of the population, the reality is different for companies in the sector. The lack of qualified personnel has become one of the obstacles that have prevented further growth of the industry in the country in recent years. Hand in hand with associations, the Colombian Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunications, CCIT, will addressed this challenge in this year.

Source: El Tiempo