Search form


Climbing the Global Digital Ladder: Latin America’s Inescapable Trial

Alfredo G. A. Valladão | June 30, 2016

Latin American economies are facing two historically defining challenges. First, how to cope with the end of the commodities “super-cycle” and the prospect of a long period of low prices for basic natural resources. After all, raw materials production and semi-industrialized goods encompass most of their comparative advantages. Second, and even more exacting, how to adjust to the present disruptive transition from an old to a new global economic and social model. The 20th century industrial organization is progressively losing its dominant position to 21st century “digital” economy, based on permanent innovation, a pervasive use of information and communications technologies (ICT), and a service-packed consumer-driven organization of production. The 800-pound gorilla question is: where does Latin American societies – and for that matter most developing countries – fit in this new era?