Argentina’s government has unveiled a new stimulus programme that it hopes will boost exports from the technology sector to US$10 billion next year and support the growth of the “knowledge economy.”
The three-pronged scheme, unveiled on Monday by Economy Minister Sergio Massa and Knowledge Economy Secretary Ariel Sujarchuk on Monday, will relax foreign exchange laws for tech firms and allow them to redirect dollars brought in via exports and use them for investment projects.
The measure will come into effect via presidential decree, the officials said. Tech firms that make investments of more than US$3 million will have free availability to 20 percent of the foreign currency that enters the country for investment projects aimed at exports, as well as 30 percent of the foreign currency resulting from an increase in foreign sales.
"We hope that by 2023, this sector will export US$10 billion and consolidate its position as the third-largest export sector in Argentina," said Massa, who also revealed that the government wants to train at least 350,000 programmers over the next five years.
Technology exports grew from US$6.2 billion in 2021 to US$7.4 billion last year, according to representatives from the sector.
The knowledge economy, said Massa, will be one of the "four pillars of the global economy in the next 10 years.” He said that the measure will ensure young tech-savvy professionals remain in Argentina, with “competitive salaries at a regional level.”
“We are sure that the best thing we have to sell is the talent of Argentines," said the minister, who said that local talent should become part of the country’s national “brand.”
“We are facing an enormous revolution in which technology and knowledge are changing production, consumption and social habits," he added.
Sujarchuk stressed that the creation of the so-called 'tech dollar' rate "is a boost and another example of the commitment of this government" to economic development and growth.