This article was originally published in ADN Ciudad on 28 October 2022.
According to an Access Partnership/Alpha Beta report commissioned by Google, the value of digital technology exports in Latin America could reach US$140 billion by 2030. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay stand to benefit the most.
At an event organised by the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) and Google, Alpha Beta part of the Access Partnership launched its latest report entitled “The Digital Sprinters: Boosting exports through digital technologies”.
In the context of the autumn meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the event brought together more than 50 representatives from the private sector, governments, international and regional organisations, technology industry leaders and academics.
Speakers included Karan Bhatia, Global Leader and Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy at Google; Christopher Martin, Policy Director and North America Office Leader of the Access Partnership; H.E. Andrés Durán Hareau, Ambassador to the United Nations, and H.E. Mr. Martin, Ambassador to the United Nations. Andrés Durán Hareau, Ambassador of Uruguay to the United States; Anabel González, Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization; Carola Moreno, Head of Finance and International Affairs at the Ministry of Finance of Chile; Fabrizio Opertti, Integration and Trade Sector Manager at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); and Edgar Braham Herrera, Economic Counsellor at the Embassy of Mexico in the United States.
During his intervention, Christopher Martin mentioned that “digital technologies boost exports through three channels: creating new digital solutions, reducing the costs of accessing foreign markets, and supporting the efficiency of export processes”.
Commissioned by Google, the study measures the export opportunity of six Latin American economies: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay. The study reveals that digital exports contribute about US$34 billion to these economies; however, with more effective policy instruments, digital exports can reach US$140 billion in economic activity by 2030.
“We see a critical role for governments to lead from the top and help ensure direction within their economies, as well as coordinate their agencies towards implementing more digital solutions,” said Martin.
The private sector supports countries in unlocking the economic benefits of digital technologies. For example, Google’s advertising platforms, such as Google Ads and AdSense, facilitate companies’ internationalisation and marketing efforts.
In addition, platforms such as Google Market Finder help companies strategically enter foreign markets by identifying countries with the most significant export potential for different types of products and services.
The report outlines four key recommendations which, at the regional level, could help policymakers foster an export-driven enabling environment: 1) build future-proof digital infrastructure, 2) close the export-related digital skills gap, 3) promote digital security and build trust between businesses and consumers, and 4) implement trade facilitation measures and policies.