Companies ask to speed up the knowledge economy law so as not to be left behind

In the midst of the pandemic, the sectors of the knowledge economy were the fastest to adapt to isolation and have the capacity to help the country emerge from the current economic stagnation.

However, the companies involved warn that a clear regulatory framework is necessary, something that became uncertain after the government suspended, in January, the validity of the law for the sector, approved last year unanimously.

In March, a project was presented to reform that rule, but the quarantine stopped its treatment. The sector hopes that the Legislative Branch will deal with it as soon as possible, but asks that it be modified so that the process has speed and rapid impact.

“When the law of softwareIt took years for companies to take off. Now we do not have that time because the country requires this sector to be energized to help generate employment and foreign exchange, “said Luis Galeazzi, president of Argencon, which nuclear companies in the knowledge economy.

The executive presented, in a virtual meeting with journalists, a report on the sector evolution in which Martín Umaran, from Globant, participated; Roberto Wagmaister, from Grupo Assa; Sergio Kaufman, from Accenture, and Santiago Mignone, from PwC Argentina.

Contained growth

Galeazzi pointed out that, in recent years, the sector’s exports grew significantly until 2011 and, thereafter, they stagnated.

Last year it showed an interannual drop of 7.3 percent, with an amount of 6,088 million dollars, due to the devaluation, the exchange stock, the rights to exports and the political uncertainty.

In employment, there was also a sustained increase until 2008 and a slowdown since 2011. Even so, in 2019 437 thousand new jobs were generated, 0.6 percent higher than 2018, while total employment in the country fell.

Although these numbers show that the knowledge economy is one of the few advancing in the crisis, Galeazzi maintains that the country lost ground in the world.

“The global growth of the sector between 2010 and 2018 was 92 percent. If Argentina had followed it, it would have created 98,427 jobs and generated 3,936.9 million dollars more for exports, “he added.

Mignone, meanwhile, warned that “when a country loses relevance, it tends to be displaced and replaced by another, because this sector does not require immobilizing large capital investments.”

“Argentina is not a massive world player, but it is an exporter of talent and added value. This is what you have to take care of, “said Wagmaister.

At two speeds

In a diverse sector, the items moved differently in these years. Computer services, underpinned by the law of software, grew in volume (netting the price effect) 60 percent compared to 2010.

In contrast, professional services, which are 58.6 percent of the total, last year were 13 percent below the volume of 2010, despite a rebound since 2015.

For Argencon, the difference has to do with the fact that the former had a promotion law and the rest were awaiting the implementation of the now suspended rule.

“Legal insecurity conspires against the creation of new ventures and against digital transformation,” stressed Wagmaister. Mignone said PwC had a plan to expand its roster from 1,200 to 4,000 people and this was stopped by law.

Galeazzi remarked that professional services have a high potential because they do not have the human resources ceiling that the IT sector suffers instead.

Umaran highlighted that the current uncertainty affects SMEs that can export and grow. Kaufman agreed that the digital world “makes it clear that there can be a federalization of companies and many more SMEs anywhere in the country.”

A sector with potential

437 thousand

Job. It is the number of registered jobs that the knowledge economy had in 2019. It represents 6.8% of the national total.

Exports. Last year, $ 6.088 million of knowledge-based services were exported.

Composition. Professional services represented 58.6% of the amount exported in 2019; the software and computer services participated with 28.4%; personal, cultural and recreational services contributed 7.6%; and charges for intellectual property, the remaining 4.4%.

Print edition

The original text of this article was published on 05/13/2020 in our printed edition.

Written by Argentina News

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