By Fabian Cambero
SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Amazon Web Services (AWS), a unit of Amazon.com Inc, expects sustained growth in Chile and the rest of Latin America in coming years despite ongoing political turmoil, a senior executive told Reuters.
“In the future we plan to invest more and expand our physical presence in Chile, to the extent that customers demand it and need it to meet their needs,” Vice President for Latin America Jaime Valles said, declining to comment on any investment figure.
AWS’s cloud platform offers everything from storage, robotics, artificial intelligence and more than 200 services.
The company opened secure connections to the global AWS network, known as Edge locations, in Argentina and Chile last year in addition to existing locations in Brazil and Colombia. From 2022 on, AWS plans to open 30 new “AWS Local Zones” that include infrastructure, storage and database services in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Brazil.
On Wednesday the company said it started the process to obtain an environmental permit needed to build a $205 million data center in Chile’s capital.
“In particular in Latin America, we are working very closely with retail and banking companies,” Valles said.
In Chile, AWS provides services to large companies such as retail conglomerate Cencosud , government services like a “virtual police station and public-private partnerships like managing astronomy data from observatories.
Aside from these services, Valles said that the company is focusing on start-ups, offering financing programs and technology to help grow their businesses.
“At the end of the day, much of the generation of growth, productivity and employment comes from start-ups or small and medium-sized companies,” Valles said.
The focus on growth and company’s long-term vision allows it to trust investment in Latin America despite sociopolitical turbulence in the region, Valles said.
“The best technology, more education, more programs for start-ups allow us to make an important difference for Latin America,” Valles said. “That is our long-term vision and as you can imagine, that is totally independent of the governments in power.”
(Report by Fabián Andrés Cambero; Edited by Natalia Ramos, Alexander Villegas and Lisa Shumaker)