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Digital transformation: Chile seen being ‘middle of the road’ – BNamericas English

Chile’s digital transformation process is at an intermediate level when it comes to its business sector with short-term progress needed in several areas, according to an expert.
“Chile is in position to accelerate its digital transformation process,” Raúl Ciudad, head of the South America branch of Wesley Clover Services, told a forum on the topic that was held by the South Korean embassy in Santiago. 
On a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 represents a level where firms have completely replaced analogue processes for digital ones, Chilean companies were at level 3 last year with larger firms showing a greater degree of adoption, said Ciudad.
He highlighted advances in the adoption of 5G networks, artificial intelligence and a digital transformation law that has set deadlines for the public sector.
Ciudad said education is a key challenge because most firms in the country lack the necessary skills and “a culture based on data.”
Another challenge is cybersecurity, which is an issue that companies need to address at an early stage, he said.
The expert also said that the infrastructure supporting digital operations must be expanded as 30% of Chilean firms’ revenue is expected to come from such operations this year.
When Chile and South Korea signed a free trade agreement in 2003, it was a lost opportunity not to include a chapter on the digital economy, Seung-ho Lee, an associate researcher at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, said at the same forum. 
Digital economy chapters were included in other FTAs that were signed later by Chile, said Lee.
With Chile and South Korea now negotiating FTA updates, such a chapter must be added, he said, adding that there is plenty of cooperation opportunities in areas such as e-commerce. 
“The two countries, together, can lead the global discussion on how digital economies should work and how they should be governed at the international level.” 
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