Business services have been one of the fastest growing export areas in emerging economies over the past decade. The spread of information and communication technologies and the rise in trade liberalization have facilitated the global unbundling and offshoring of services activities from advanced to developing countries, including those in Latin America. This offshoring has gradually evolved into more sophisticated forms of business process outsourcing. Several countries in the region are now in the process of further upgrading their services exports to participate in knowledge process outsourcing, which includes research and development, product development and more advanced vertical functions and activities in the value chain.
The empirical and analytical insights in this volume document how several countries in Latin America have entered the offshore services sector both through the attraction of multinational companies and the internationalization of domestic service suppliers. The future of the offshore services sector in Latin America will depend on its ability to upgrade its knowledge- and skill-intensive product offerings. This will call for the development of domestic technical capabilities, the adoption of renewed industrial policies, the promotion of backward and forward linkages, and the continued upgrading of human capital and information technology-integrated manufacturing.