Colombia seeks Indian investment in IT

    By IANS,

    New Delhi: Colombia, one of the largest economies of South America, is offering a host of incentives to attract Indian software firms in a bid to make itself a technology hub in the continent.

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    “We are looking forward to Indian IT companies entering the Colombian market and setting up their operations to cater to one of the fastest growing economies of South America,” Colombian ambassador Juan Alfredo Pinto told IANS.

    Colombia is ready to provide incentives for the Indian IT firms to not only set up operations in its territory but in the whole of South America, he added.

    “We want the Indian companies to come to the country and provide IT solutions to … the region. Our huge base of talented and skilled population will provide an advantage to the Indian companies,” he said.

    Pinto, whose Minister of State of Industry and Commerce Carlos de Hart is coming for the NASSCOM India Leadership Summit in Mumbai, is hopeful of attracting $40-50 million in the IT sector from India this year.

    “We have many Indian IT companies like Sutherland, Infosys and TCS in our country, which provide various services like softwares development and BPO operations,” he said.

    TCS has more than 700 employees in Colombia, followed by Sutherland and Infosys, who are engaged in different segments of software development to back-office operations.

    “The Indian companies are experiencing huge growth and hiring more and more people because there is a huge potential in Colombia for IT related services,” Pinto added.

    Colombia spends about $1.4 billion on IT services in various segments of its economy like banking, insurance and back-end operations of various sectors.

    “In South America, we spend one of the largest amounts on IT services, out of which 50 percent is on the BPO side. This means the Indian IT companies have a huge growth opportunity,” said Counsellor Alejandro Pelaez.

    Pelaez said Colombia, which is witnessing rapid economic growth, needs IT solutions for its insurance and banking systems, currently provided by some of the major IT giants.

    “From airlines segment to car insurance to banking and back-end we need more services. Our incentives for the Indian companies would give them an edge to establish a firm base here to service the whole of south, central America and to some extent the US,” he said.

    Colombia, a nation of 44.9 million people, has a GDP growth of 4.5 percent and a per capita income of $9,070 – making it one of the largest economies in the region.