With the number of Internet users worldwide crossing 4 billion, the global digital economy has become a space of immense opportunity. Consequently, being digitally competitive has become a priority for governments, businesses, and citizens. In this global context, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) stands at an inflection point, in the midst of a digital growth spurt.
After 15 years of commodities-led expansion at the start of this century, the region is poised for consumption-led growth in the coming decade, and is expected to account for over 5% of global consumption growth by 2030. For this to be true, digital products and services will have to be a significant part of the consumption basket.
This in-depth regional analysis from The Fletcher School and Mastercard includes a study of the pace of digital evolution of 24 LAC countries, across four key drivers of supply, demand, institutional environment and innovation. It utilizes data over 10 years (2008-2017) to create an overall digital evolution score and digital momentum score.
Nearly half of the 24 LAC markets included in the study demonstrate moderate momentum. A few countries are advancing rapidly: Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Mexico and Colombia are leading the way, both in the state of digital evolution and their rate of progress i.e., digital momentum. These five countries are propelled by the relative stability of their institutions, pockets of innovation, and recent improvements in information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure to cater to the growing demand for digital goods and services.
A data-driven comparison of the digital evolution of LAC countries with each other and with global peers is key to distilling best practices to close gaps across drivers of digital momentum, identifying opportunities to leapfrog, and facilitating collaborative decision-making by policymakers and businesses to advance the digital economy of the region.
The DEI LAC demonstrates that countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean are at a crucial turning point–with the right mix of digital-first policy interventions, supply infrastructure stimuli, and a push to improve digital and financial inclusion, the region can unlock its true digital potential.
Learn more about the work from Fletcher and Mastercard in the video below (in Spanish)
Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay, México y Colombia lideran el proceso de digitalización en América Latina y el Caribe según el Índice de Evolución Digital de América Latina y El Caribe realizado por Mastercard y @FletcherSchool presentado en el marco del #MAInnovation pic.twitter.com/wus2O98arP
— Noticias Mastercard (@MastercardLAC) November 28, 2018