Latin American Leaders Optimistic About Digitization
Reports have it that, like the other countries of the world, Latin America is also going digital along with the advantages and disadvantages that such a transformation entails.
As domestic and foreign investment in digital groundwork, e-services, and cloud computing are stimulating openness, economic development, and innovation, and they are strengthening digital divisions, misrepresenting politics and exposing citizens, businesses, and governments to the so-called "cyber threats."
Across this region, the information and communications technology (ICT) and broadband are concentrated in affluent households and cities, and as the excessive directive is stifling rivalry in telecommunications.
Even though cybercrime is said to be off the charts, it is still considered an abandoned danger. And now, a geopolitical competition clash between China and the US over what lies ahead of 5G reportedly "puts Latin America directly in the crosshairs." And, how the government leaders face these challenges in the years yet to come is said to be having generational insinuations.
Most Latin America Residents are Online
According to reports, in 2019, over 450 million of the 626 million residents of Latin America were online. More so, a similar number of residents owned a mobile phone, allowing them for political involvement, build businesses, and access to digital services.
Also, Latin American residents are among the world's most passionate users of social media, too. Social media includes WhatsApp, Facebook, and YouTube. Relatively, these people are not just uploading their favorite music videos but accessing employments in both formal and informal economies, as well.
Essentially, global investors have already taken notice, with the launch of SoftBank, of its $5-billion technology fund last year for Latin America. And, while this region is less likely to rival big players such as India, China, or even the US, the tech scene is flourishing in cities such as Mexico City, Bogota, Santiago, and Buenos Aires.
Sao Paulo prides itself on being the eight most progressive digital ecosystem in the world, and Brazil has been considered home to over 10,000 tech newbies. In the whole region, roughly $2 billion was capitalized in ed-tech, fintech, smart-city beginners, and telemedicine in 2017.
From 2017 to 2019, Latin America generated over a dozen of privately-controlled startups with a value of $1 billion or more. Prompted by both private and public incubators, low competitive strength, and talented developers, more and more tech firms that operate in the region are homegrown.
Leaders of the Region Bullish about Digitization
Contradicting this framework, the leaders of Latin American are bullish about digitization. Specifically, governments in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Brazil invest in subsidizing training programs, cultivating ICT ecosystems, and startup incubators.
Colombia, for one, has been distributing cultural-development bonds to subsidize everything from IT firms to fiber-optic cables. Digitization and automation in manufacturing, both the economy and technology experts say, "Manufacturing could enhance productivity" and generate job opportunities "in the knowledge economy, specifically for young people."
However, if poorly executed, new technologies will even expand the digital divisions. Notably, Latin America is known as the world's most unequal region when it comes to income, education, health, and wealth. And, despite comparatively high penetration rates of telecommunications, far too many residents and locations still have just limited Internet access.
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