The Growth of IT Offshoring to Cuba

10 Dec ’05

The Globe reports on the growing use by Canadian companies of Cuba as an IT offshoring destination. Gist:

Since 1991, Cuba’s information technology sector has been developing at warp speed and now consists of about 45,000 highly skilled workers, 38 per cent of whom have specialized degrees. More than 85 per cent of the country’s IT industry is concentrated in technical services and software development.

“We’ve been investing in this sector for the last 14 years and we now have highly skilled IT workers at every level,” says Luis Marin, general manager of Avante, the marketing arm of Cuba’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communications. “IT doesn’t require a lot of investment . . . except in human resources.”

“These people are very well educated and offer an outsourcing option that I think we need to take a look at,” one Canadian insider says. “I can go down there and say I want this done, here’s the project and here’s what we’ll pay.”

He spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of U.S. reprisals under the Helms-Burton Act and other pressures that prevent U.S. companies and affiliates from doing business with Cuba.

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