Software Outsourcing
Rating per Latam Country

by Andres Monge, Accounts Director

April 22, 2024

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Software Outsourcing 
Rating per Latam Country

The economic climate has enhanced the attractiveness of Latin American outsourcing due to competitive rates, which allow companies to nearly double the value of their spending compared to domestic costs. Despite recent disruptions leading to the postponement or cancellation of some outsourcing projects, there is an opportunity for businesses to secure even more advantageous deals, capitalizing on the region's highly skilled software engineers who are proficient in English, culturally aligned, and immediately available for new projects. In 2024, Latin America represents a significant portion of the global outsourcing market, boasting a remarkable growth of 15% since 2020.

Software outsourcing in Latin America is increasingly becoming a preferred option for US, Canadian, and European companies, thanks to the region's alignment with similar time zones, high English proficiency, and cultural compatibility. The geographic proximity, particularly of countries like Costa Rica and Mexico, facilitates easier collaboration and communication with remote teams and international clients, overcoming common barriers associated with offshore outsourcing. Investments in digital infrastructure and cybersecurity have made remote collaboration smoother and more reliable, setting the stage for a surge in tech-related activities.

Ryan Schauer from Accelerance emphasizes the high standard of education in Latin America, especially in STEM fields, and highlights the strong work ethic and cultural fit found in the region, which can alleviate concerns regarding cultural and language differences that some companies might initially have.

Let's understand these numbers and perspectives per some Latam countries, focusing on the more relevant ones in the context of outsourcing.

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Argentina’s Outsourcing Landscape

Argentina continues to navigate through economic challenges with recent government interventions aimed at stabilizing the peso and curbing inflation, now hovering around 30% annually. The country has emerged as an early adopter in outsourcing software engineering services, making it a favored location for nearshore partnerships, mainly due to its robust support for research and development, exceptional talent generation and retention, and a general openness to innovation. However, the nation's economic situation is fraught with challenges, including escalating inflation, declining GDP, and a volatile peso, all exacerbating an already high level of debt. Despite these economic hurdles, the country continues to offer significant advantages for international business partnerships, especially in the tech industry.

The country possesses numerous economic advantages, such as abundant natural resources, a literate populace, a solid export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diverse industrial base. Argentina faces ongoing difficulties in restructuring this debt amidst an uncertain political and economic climate, further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on its primary markets, such as agricultural exports to China and the EU. Despite these challenges, the country's commitment to education and an industrially varied foundation offer potential growth paths.

Regarding human and political capital, Argentina boasts a well-educated workforce due to free higher-education initiatives, leading to high literacy and tertiary enrollment rates. The workforce's strong English language skills and Argentina's status as a significant global software development outsourcing hub facilitate effective collaboration with Western companies. Despite these strengths, ongoing economic instability and a strong USD against the Argentine peso are expected to maintain lower service rates, impacting the overall business environment.

Brazil’s Outsourcing Landscape

As the largest economy in Latin America, Brazil's IT sector is booming, fueled by substantial foreign investment and recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence. The country's active hosting of international tech conferences showcases its emerging role as a technology hub.

Brazil is experiencing rapid growth in its technology sector despite historically being small compared to other sectors. The inflow of foreign investment into Brazilian startups has significantly increased, doubling since 2016. This investment surge has attracted major global IT companies such as HP, IBM, Accenture, and Unisys, positioning Brazil as a burgeoning hub for technological innovation and development.

The political scene in Brazil is marked by intense polarization. Despite these political challenges, Brazil continues to make strides in IT education and development, notably in regions like Florianópolis, which has been dubbed the "Silicon Valley" of Brazil. However, the country's general proficiency in English remains low, which could affect international business communications, notwithstanding the widespread use of English within the business sector.

Chile’s Outsourcing Landscape

Chile is quickly becoming an attractive market for outsourcing software engineering, known as 'Chilecon Valley'. The nation stands out for its highly skilled programmers, high levels of education, and a vibrant startup culture, exemplified by initiatives like the Santiago-based seed accelerator Start-Up Chile. Additionally, Chile provides a stable business environment, cost-effective rates, and a time zone compatible with the US, making it an increasingly popular choice for tech companies and startups looking for outsourcing solutions.

The Chilean economy has seen rapid growth over recent decades, driven by significant structural reforms, including trade and investment liberalization, alongside a robust natural resource sector. In terms of human capital, Chile boasts a high standard of living and an excellent education system, with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile being highly ranked in Latin America. The country's tech sector is further supported by government-backed initiatives like Start-Up Chile, which helps foster an entrepreneurial environment by offering equity-free funding and various resources to global tech entrepreneurs.

Colombia’s Outsourcing Landscape

Colombia stands out as a dynamic emerging market, recognized as part of the CIVETS countries for its robust financial system, controlled inflation, young and growing population, diversified exports, and increasing foreign investments. It is lauded as the most business-friendly country in Latin America, offering a Westernized culture and geographical proximity to the United States. The software and IT sector is burgeoning, and Colombians are known for their optimism and adaptability, traits that significantly contribute to the success and resilience of their software development projects.

The country's economy is robust, with over 50 million people and the fourth-largest GDP in South America. Colombia has shown solid economic fundamentals, boosting investor confidence and enhancing commercial ties globally. Admittance to the OECD in 2018 underscores its robust macroeconomic framework, with growth anticipated to continue, spurred by investment, tax reforms, and significant infrastructure projects. The IT sector has seen substantial growth, supported by initiatives such as the creation of specialized regional clusters and a surge in graduates in engineering and computing since 2016, underpinning Colombia's rising status as a major player in Latin America's technology sphere.

Political stability has markedly improved following the historic 2016 peace deal with armed militants, catalyzing societal transformation and economic growth, thus expanding the middle class. The past decade has seen Colombia open up more to tourism, gaining a reputation as a safer destination, albeit with continued caution. In terms of language, both Spanish and English are widely spoken, facilitating international business engagements.

Costa Rica’s Outsourcing Landscape

Since 2005, Costa Rica has ambitiously aimed to transform itself into the high-tech nucleus of Central America, leveraging its geographic proximity and cultural affinity with the United States to become a prime destination for software development outsourcing. The nation ranks second in Latin America for English proficiency, and its engineers are well-versed in Western business practices and standards, offering significant advantages for international partnerships and collaborations in the technology sector.

Economically, Costa Rica has experienced consistent growth over the last quarter-century, fueled by a welcoming stance towards foreign investment and a gradual approach to trade liberalization. With an economy buoyed by tech exports and the presence of multinational companies, Costa Rica's commitment to technology and innovation is evident in its economic strategies and outcomes. A recent NY Times article highlights some of the major pros of the country.

Costa Rica stands as a beacon of political and economic stability in a region often characterized by volatility. The nation boasts a democratic governance structure, universal healthcare, and one of the highest life expectancies among OECD countries. Costa Rica has maintained strong ties with the US and has been proactive in securing new investments in infrastructure, education, and training. With ambitious environmental policies aimed at achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and a lucrative tourism sector, Costa Rica exemplifies a sustainable development model. Additionally, the widespread teaching of English in schools and the population's high literacy rate enhance the country's appeal as a business and tech-friendly environment. 

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El Salvador’s Outsourcing Landscape

El Salvador, the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America, has seen positive shifts due to reforms aimed at diversifying the economy and enhancing social conditions. These changes have facilitated trade and bolstered the manufacturing sector. The technology sector, although still nascent and small, is on an upward trajectory, signaling potential for future growth.

The country has made notable strides in reducing inequality, becoming one of the most equitable nations in Latin America. While the Salvadoran Chamber of Information and Communication Technologies (CASATIC) aims to harness technology for national development, and literacy rates are on the rise, the job market remains strained, with annual job creation lagging behind the demand. 

Mexico’s Outsourcing Landscape

Mexico offers significant advantages as a nearshore outsourcing partner for the US, thanks to its proximity, overlapping time zones, and minimal language barriers, which facilitate real-time collaboration. The country has a pool of engineers experienced with the latest technologies and offers competitive hourly rates, making it an attractive location for businesses seeking outsourcing solutions. 

In terms of human capital, Mexico has shown promise with startups raising substantial venture capital, particularly in the fintech sector. Many young Mexicans pursue higher education in the US, often in business and engineering, creating a pool of highly educated professionals. Furthermore, government initiatives like Reto Zapopan are in place to support tech entrepreneurs and stimulate job creation locally. While English proficiency is low among the general population, it is notably higher within the business and IT sectors, facilitating communication with international partners.

Panama’s Outsourcing Landscape

Panama is recognized as one of the world's fastest-growing economies and a significant multinational business hub, primarily due to the strategic advantage offered by the Panama Canal. This Central American leader boasts a modern infrastructure, and an overlapping time zone with the US, all of which make it an expensive outsourcing destination. The nation's close ties with the US enhance its attractiveness to businesses looking for outsourcing solutions. It is further buoyed by its modern banking and financial services sector, which benefits from the free flow of capital and adherence to international regulatory standards.

The local currency, the Balboa, is pegged to the US dollar, underscoring the country's economic steadiness. The workforce in Panama is relatively skilled yet remains cost-effective, particularly in the service industry, which constitutes over 75% of employment. Initiatives by the government and institutions like the Technological University of Panama and the City of Knowledge's Innovation Center are fostering a new generation of tech entrepreneurs. Furthermore, while Spanish is the official language, a significant portion of the population is bilingual and fluent English is spoken, facilitating communication and business operations with international partners.

Peru’s Outsourcing Landscape

Once engulfed in political upheaval, Peru has evolved into a dynamic country with a stabilizing economy, offering new investment prospects, particularly in the tech sector. Service providers from other Latin American countries are establishing operations within Peru, particularly focusing on web and mobile application development. This influx is driven by the availability of highly skilled technical engineers sourced from the nation's leading universities, indicating a strategic shift towards harnessing local talent to fuel technological growth and innovation.

The Peruvian economy, while booming from 2002 to 2013 due to effective macroeconomic policies and structural reforms, has experienced a slowdown in the past five years. Currently, Peru's investment in innovation is relatively low compared to its neighbors, yet there's a noticeable shift towards entrepreneurship and technological development. The nation's human capital potential, particularly in innovation and technology, is gradually being unlocked with increasing investments in R&D and initiatives like Laboratoria and Crack the Code, aiming to boost digital skills among women and school students, respectively.

The political landscape and Peru's lucrative tourism industry contribute to an environment conducive to economic growth and foreign investment. While Spanish is the dominant language, the burgeoning tech community, especially engineers, boasts high levels of English proficiency and a good understanding of US business practices, facilitating international collaborations and investments.

Uruguay’s Outsourcing Landscape

Despite being one of Latin America's smallest countries, Uruguay has established itself as a formidable player in the global tech industry. Renowned for being the region's leading software exporter per capita and ranking third worldwide, the country boasts over 700 IT companies, primarily exporting to the United States and Brazil. A significant factor contributing to Uruguay's success in the tech sector is the government's robust support, including complete income tax exemptions for global IT firms on revenues generated from software exports and related services, creating an enticing environment for outsourcing.

Uruguay's economy benefits from an export-oriented agricultural sector and a well-educated workforce underpinned by substantial social spending. Demonstrating a stable growth rate of around 4% annually since 2003, the country has shown resilience against regional economic downturns, mainly due to its strategy of diversifying export markets.

Politically, Uruguay enjoys remarkable stability and is commended for its progressive social policies, high public trust in government, and low corruption levels. Since the restoration of democracy in the 1980s, successive governments have pursued economic liberalization, enhancing Uruguay's appeal as a safe and liberal destination for tourists and investors alike. Additionally, the country's software engineers are proficient in English and well-versed in US business practices, further facilitating international collaboration in the tech industry.


The trend towards outsourcing to Latin America reflects the expanding range of technical services offered by the region, with increasingly competitive hourly rates that, while higher than those in Asia or Eastern Europe, still represent significant savings compared to domestic costs in Western markets. Factors such as full workday overlaps with US time zones, excellent English language skills, and cultural familiarity make Latin American partners particularly appealing. 

Additionally, the ease of travel without the concern of jet lag and the robust IT education and talent pools in the region makes it easier for companies to scale their employee base and maintain effective face-to-face interactions with their software development teams. At Stateside, we source, hire, and manage technical talent from all over the region, allowing companies to scale their teams cost-effectively without sacrificing quality. Book a discovery call today to start your nearshore journey.

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