Latin America offers strategic opportunities as a nearshoring destination. The small time zone change means teams in North America and South America can work in real-time, and travel between the locales is relatively quick.
As talent gaps widen, companies around the world are looking for skilled developers and outsourcing teams in Latin America. Not only can developers in the region provide better prices, but also cultural similarities make working together seamless. As a whole, Latin America is an attractive region for outsourcing, but individual countries are making waves in the outsourcing world. Here’s a look at how Latin American countries are impacting the nearshoring industry.
Argentina: High levels of education and English
Argentina continuously ranks among the highest educated in Latin America – largely thanks to free education programs. It also has the highest level of English in Latin America, which means companies in North America do not need to learn Spanish.
Though Argentina is over 7,000 miles from the US, it is only one to two hours ahead of the US east coast time, depending on the time of year. Buenos Aires is only four hours behind London and four hours ahead of Silicon Valley (again, depending on the time of year), which makes it a strategic location for working with a remote team or international clients.
Belize: Low turnover rates
Belize is another outsourcing destination, and its official language is English as well, and most in the country speak Spanish, Belizean Creole, and English. Though Internet connectivity in the country is expensive, it’s becoming an increasingly attractive place for remote workers and IT outsourcing firms due to its minimal language barriers and proximity to the US.
Belize boasts lower turnover and attrition rates than the industry standard. Furthermore, since many in the country have worked in tourism, they work very well with North American colleagues.
Nicaragua: Growing technology services
The country is now home to many outsourcing centers, which is a growing industry in Nicaragua. In 2017, the country reported exporting US$134 million and receiving over US$92 million in investment to date. While Nicaragua is very much still an agriculture-based society, outsourcing has helped grow the GDP in recent years.
Outsourcing in Nicaragua is likely to grow due to new government initiatives. In 2018, the Nicaraguan government announced it would focus on two initiatives for schools. The first is introducing more English, and the second is to put more technology in the classroom. This will create an educated, technologically-savvy population in Nicaragua.
Puerto Rico: International destination
While the average salary of an engineer in the US is around US$100,000, wages in Puerto Rico are lower and can range between US$35,000 to US$75,000. There are also fewer language and geographical barriers when outsourcing IT to Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are bilingual (English and Spanish), and the island is only a four-hour flight from many US cities.
Many international technology companies have offices in Puerto Rico, including Infosys, HoneyWell, Rock Solid, Truenorth, GE, Microsoft, and more. The island already has a thriving biopharmaceutical sector and is now working hard to attract more manufacturing, software, and telecommunications companies.
According to a Global Competitiveness Report from the World Economic Forum, Puerto Rico ranks third for the availability of scientists and engineers. The island is home to the Mayagüez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, one of the best engineering schools in the United States.
Colombia: Top outsourcing destination
Colombia ranks the highest for outsourcing destinations in Latin America. Recently, the Colombian government approved a new ministry, Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación. Introducing the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation means a person will sit on the council of ministers with the goal of appropriating more resources to develop research projects.
On the outsourcing front, Bogota alone sees 67,000 graduates every year, and of those, 17,000 of them are technical graduates. The combined workforce of the IT and BPO industry in Bogota is over 50,000.
In Latin America, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Mexico claim the top spots as outsourcing destinations. However, smaller countries such as Nicaragua and Belize are becoming population locations as well. Government technology initiatives and entrepreneurial workforces make for top spots that North American and European countries seek out for outsourcing needs.
To learn more about the technology scene in Latin America, download 200+ Fast Facts about Technology in Latin America, a country-by-country guide to the technology landscape in 22 Latin American countries.