Export of teleservices for the social and labor inclusion of Latin America and the Caribbean

Executive Summary

Executive Summary Index
Problems and justification
--Specific Objectives
Project results


Problems and justification

Countries in our region have an intellectual capital that has been left out of the working market, particularly due to structural problems resulting from the neo-liberal policy applied in the last decade.

The Project wishes to create new non-traditional working opportunities, considering that the region can provide simple as well as high added value tele-services.

"Tele-services" being services (intangible goods or intellectual products) that are done away from the central office through teleworkers.

We consider that there is an "export" when payment is done by a resident of another country, not considering the place where the service if really rendered (1).

This is why certain recommendations and policies for the export of teleservices must be considered that may promote the creation of jobs and work within basic economic parameters, rendering the region as a competitive one, but at the same time, establishing minimum rules of operation and hiring.

We have mainly considered the autonomous workers (or micro-entrepreneurs) because, though they could eventually become Small Companies (Pymes), they have not yet achieved this status and therefore are not included in government export promotion programs in our region.

Though the aim will be set on autonomous workers, it is possible that this information creates different contractual relationships in the future.

Therefore, we have incorporated into this project a "case study" to follow-up the dislocation of jobs within the formal sector. We consider that the job structure in the region shows similar importance for both sectors (53.3% for the formal sector and 46.7% for the informal). This project should be useful to both situations of work creation.

This Project aims at providing organized information and data useful for the governments of participating countries. The degree of collaboration to identify potential demand will allow us to demonstrate the political will to develop these activities. Surely this investigation could influence government decisions to include teleservices into National Ciber-Strategies.



Create an information and data registry to create decent work openings through the export of teleservices.

This study will allow for the following specific aims:

1. Describe and identify the export telework services in Argentina, Costa Rica, Brazil and Colombia done by autonomous teleworkers.

2. Identify the potential demand of offshore teleservices (2), based on the OMC service classification (3).

3. Document a case study of dislocation of tele-service job (phone answering service) in Argentina within the formal sector.

4. Suggest legal recommendations for international teleservice transactions.



The profile of the teleworker shall be defined in order to achieve the specific aims 1 & 2: real and potential teleworkers, whether he/she is working or not, to be analyzed during this study. Forms shall be digitalized in order to obtain information on offer and demand of teleservices.

Institutions related to this Project shall do personal or telephonic interviews, and shall digitally contact possible information centers.

For specific aim #3, remote jobs shall be followed-up through personal interviews of the teleworker and authorities of the contracting companies.

The specific aim #4 will identify the legal aspects related to international teleservice transactions in each participating country, based on the Agreements of the World Trade Organization.


Project Results

Results of the ETIS-LAC Project will be delivered in an analytical report which will include:

1. Written and digital report on the main teleservice offer available in each participating country. These shall be separated by type of service, gender, age, education, geographic location, and any other relevant information. The report shall include the analysis and data collected during the study.

2. Written and digital report on the main demand of teleservices in the region. It shall identify potential import countries and main teleservices requested. The report shall include the analysis and data collected during the study.

3. Written and digital report on the dislocation experience of jobs in the case study, with an analysis of the main obstacles and benefits when accepting phone answering teleservices.

4. Legal recommendations and report for the marketing of teleservices in each participating country and recommendations for the region.


(1) Guide for PyMEs' export of services, Government of the City of Buenos Aires, page 12

(2) Offshore Teleservices: meaning services rendered from a different country than that of the paying party. Transfrontier and Offshore are indistictly used in this Project.

(3) OMC service segmentated clasification list