IDB proposes commercial digital agenda to boost business opportunities
27 septiembre 2018


Digital Commerce. Based on the report entitled “A digital trade policy for Latin America and the Caribbean”, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) recommended the Latin American countries to update their regulatory frameworks to encourage e-commerce transactions. According to the document, the possibilities offered by the region are challenging and this is due to two factors: low productivity and lower performance in the exchange of goods. In 2019, the IDB is expected to promote a series of programs to promote this type of trade.

According to the document, countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile have seen their long-term business prospects suffer because they are exporters of raw materials, and Latin America’s share of the international market is still below expectations (today the regional level of world trade activity is 8.2 percent and exports reach 5.1 percent). The report highlights that the nations of the continent are not well integrated with global value chains, the globalization of the Internet and data that would allow an improvement in productivity.

However, some countries such as Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru and Paraguay, among others, agreed with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to develop a joint work for future negotiations related to electronic commerce. This shows that, while there is a commitment in the form of regional and/or bilateral agreements, there are no common policies regarding e-commerce.

Next steps

Based on this report, it is expected that Latin American governments will take into account the IDB’s recommendations to legislate on the subject and promote the use of complementary platforms and services, such as online payments. The region is also expected to make progress in areas such as information technology, professional financial services and digital services in general, in order to add value to marketed products.