Digital Trade in Latin America: New Nextrade Group Report

Digital Trade in Latin America: New Nextrade Group Report

The Internet roared to the scene in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and it is transforming the way Latin Americans interact, shop, bank, and spend their time. The Internet is changing regional consumption patterns, the landscape of regional companies, and the region’s economic prospects. Disruptive digital technologies riding on the web — cloud-based services, e-commerce, 3D printing, Internet of Things, and so on — are empowering LAC companies of all sizes to cut costs, improve customer service, and create brand new products and services. The region is also home to innovative digital companies run by intrepid entrepreneurs, some of whom have accessed significant investments from Silicon Valley and grown into some of the world’s leading online businesses.

 The Internet, in short, has opened tremendous new opportunities for LAC economies to become more productive, expand opportunities for entrepreneurship, and drive inclusive economic growth.

 However, there is little data and mostly only anecdotal evidence on the power of the Internet on trade in the LAC region. Data on the barriers to digital trade in the region is still lacking, and a as are fresh ideas on policies to unlock digital trade. This curtails regional policymakers’ ability to make informed policy choices. The purpose of this report is to start filling these knowledge gaps and drive digital trade in Latin America.

 The purpose of this new Nextrade Group report for the Inter-American Development Bank is to start filling these knowledge gaps and unlock the next generation of digital trade in Latin America. We pioneer in mapping out the state and future of digital trade in the LAC region, analyze the impediments to the expansion of the region’s digital trade, and put forth policy recommendations for undoing the barriers to this new, exciting area of international trade. We also analyze the patterns in the geographic expansion of digital businesses and platforms across Latin America.

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