A simple database created a decade ago using TOEIC has become one driver for skyrocketing foreign direct investment in Chile. Such investment quadrupled to around $15 billion in the seven years between 2003 and 2010 and reached over $28 billion in 2012.
In creating this database, the National Register of English Speakers, the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO) was acting on the realization that lack of information on English language proficiency of job candidates was affecting Chile’s growth. Some companies had stated that the sole reason they did not outsource business to Chile was because they were unable to assess the English language skills of Chile’s workforce.
Despite required study in English from elementary school on and the country's stature as one of the world's leading exporters, Japanese professionals continue to have on average surprisingly poor English language skills.
One study by Japanese firm Recruit Agent cited in a recent Reuters article found that only 9 percent of over 1,100 white-collar workers surveyed claimed to be able to communicate in English at all, with most others rating themselves "Barely" able to function in speaking or listening.