Chilean president offers incentives to Indian investors

March 20th, 2009 - 4:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, March 20 (IANS) Chilean President Michelle Bachelet Friday invited Indian IT companies to partner with their Chilean counterparts to “build global projects” and also to help her country’s development.
Bachelet, who came to India Monday for a five-day official tour, was speaking at a function here, organised by the IT industry lobby, National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom).

Applauding India’s growth in the IT sector during the last decade, the Chilean president said: “Indian companies could partner with Chilean companies to build global projects.”

“Our goal is to become a developed economy within a generation from a middle income economy,” she added.

Describing her visit as a “productive” one, Bachelet said her government would offer “attractive tax incentives” to private companies that were interested to invest in Chile.

At present, over 70 percent of the total investment in research and development (R&D) in Chile is funded by the state.

According to Chilean Economic Minister Hugo Lavados, the government is intensifying its efforts to increase the broadband connections, strengthen e-governance initiatives and promote IT usage in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Miguel Perez Arata, president of the Association of IT Companies (ACTI), an IT industry lobby in Chile, said nearly 80 percent of the companies in that country would fall under the SME category, employing around 100,000 people.

The hardware industry accounts for 60 percent of the $3-billion IT industry in Chile, while the software sector contributes to 30 percent with the rest coming from the service sector.

“With hardware penetration fairly high, the focus is now on the other two segments. The target is $1 billion IT exports by 2010,” Arata said.

The Chilean president arrived in the city Friday morning.

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