Software Export: Booming Business

Fiscal incentives and the growing demand for technological products at a global level are factors that have favored the growth of exports of Guatemalan software development companies.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Businessmen in the sector specify that the most demanded services are software development, creation of technological applications, videogames, digital strategies for brand positioning, use of drones for studies and data analysis.

Although this type of exports is complex to measure, it is estimated that foreign exchange income from software exports exceeded in the first quarter of the year the total foreign sales reported in 2018, when $38 million were recorded. In this context, it is expected that by 2019 the amount of sales will double compared to the previous year.

See "Laptops and Tablets: Imports Up 16%

Devadit Barahona, president of the Board of Directors of the Software Commission of the Guatemalan Exporters Association (Agexport), explained to that the growth of the sector is influenced by "... the opportunity provided by the 19-2016 Decree through which software exporting companies have an incentive not to pay Income Tax for the first 10 years of their establishment. That was an incentive to develop the industry, and you can still qualify for it."

You may be interested in "Electronic Equipment: Consumer Interests in Costa Rica

Barahona added that "... the industry does not have a limit, and there is still enough space for software and applications to grow. Everyone can, or should, use technology for data analysis, administrative management, sales or positioning themselves on the Internet using digital tools. It is no longer the future, it is the present. As long as you solve something for some market, that's where we should go."

The software companies in the country generate an estimated 3,500 direct jobs and 27,000 indirect jobs in the technology industry, with the United States, Mexico, Central America, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, as well as Japan and Germany, the main markets to which they export their products.

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In 2011, Guatemala exported laboratories services worth more than $19 million, anticipating that the figure will be close to $25 million at the end of 2012.

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The export sector dropped to 8% from 13.7% growth prospect for 2011.

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There is an estimated 30% increase in the sector´s outlook for next year.

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