Technology is redefining competitiveness in many sectors.
Digital technology makes people's lives easier, empowers consumers, and connects citizens with each other and with their governments. But the digital revolution has not spread with the same intensity throughout all Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Connectivity varies from country to country and across different social segments. The region needs universal, reliable, and large-scale access to broadband for the digital era to pay off. LAC have made progress, but significant inequities still exist.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
The region's telecommunications market is huge with almost 350 million mobile internet subscribers, which is more than in the United States and almost equal to Europe.
However, nearly 300 million people remain ‘digitally excluded.’ There are large digital gaps in the region, such as between young people with financial resources in cities and elderly women with low resources in rural areas. However, those with less access to the Internet stand to benefit from it most by accessing banking services or buying products and services without having to travel.
Affordability is one of the factors limiting internet access together with a lack of connectivity, availability of devices, digital skills, or the scarcity of local content (for example, in indigenous languages). At IDB Invest we work with financial, technological, and knowledge-based solutions to end the digital divide in Latin America and the Caribbean.
As connectivity increases, technological business models can reach previously unattended segments, thereby strengthening the region's competitiveness. Cloud-based technology services, e-commerce, ride-hailing, and the fintech industry are some of the clearest examples of this transformation.
We rely on the strength of the IDB Group with more than 60 years’ experience and 26 offices in the region. IDB works with countries on regulatory frameworks and public investment in telecommunications, media, and technology. Furthermore, IDB Lab, which is part of the IDB Group, implements pilot projects and early-stage investments to test new business models and, if successful, take them to scale. At IDB Invest we build on that experience.
We invest in the deployment of infrastructure, services, and digital applications that increase inclusion, productivity, and growth. We support business models based on data from fintech, financial markets, and software, among many other areas. We offer a combination of financial products, advisory services, and insight, adapting to our clients' needs and the markets in which they operate.
We not only ensure the financial viability of each project but also the long-term social and economic impact. We consider environmental and social aspects, gender equality, climate change, and corporate governance.