Digital Technologies for a New Future

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Digital technologies for a new future Thank you for your interest in this ECLAC publication ECLAC Publications Please register if you would like to receive information on our editorial products and activities When you register you may specify your particular areas of interest and you will gain access to our products in other formats www cepal org en publications Publicaciones www cepal org apps Digital technologies for a new future Digital Agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean Work on this document was coordinated by Sebasti n Rovira Economic Affairs Officer of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ECLAC in collaboration with Wilson Peres and Nunzia Saporito The drafting committee also comprised Valeria Jord n Georgina N ez Alejandro Pati o Laura Poveda Fernando Rojas and Joaqu n Vargas of the Division of Production Productivity and Management and Rodrigo Mart nez Amalia Palma and Daniela Trucco of the Social Development Division The chapters were prepared with input from the consultants Sebasti n Cabello and Nicol s Grossman The document also included valuable contributions deriving from the seventh Ministerial Conference on the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean and from the comments and contributions of the official delegations that participated in the meeting The boundaries and names shown on the maps included in this publication do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations United Nations publication LC TS 2021 43 Distribution L Copyright United Nations 2021 All rights reserved Printed at United Nations Santiago S 20 00960 This publication should be cited as Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ECLAC Digital technologies for a new future LC TS 2021 43 Santiago 2021 Applications for authorization to reproduce this work in whole or in part should be sent to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ECLAC Documents and Publications Division publicaciones cepal un org Member States and their governmental institutions may reproduce this work without prior authorization but are requested to mention the source and to inform ECLAC of such reproduction Contents Foreword I Towards a sustainable digital society A The systemic impact of digital disruption B The difficult balance between digitalization and sustainability C The roll out of 5G networks essential to the new models of industrial production and organization D The mass take up of new technologies requires more infrastructure investment 1 2 Telecommunications are moving to the cloud the transformation of the sector The digital transformation driven by 5G networks will have a significant economic impact but require large investments Bibliography II Digitalization for social welfare and inclusion A Divides in broadband access B The use and take up of digital technologies 1 Distance learning essential but inaccessible for many 2 Digital health care in the pandemic emergency 3 Digitalization the labour market and employment 4 5 Smart cities a hub of inclusive and sustainable development Financial inclusion the advance of financial technology fintech C Universalizing access Bibliography III Digitalization for productive development A Digitalization and productivity Productivity dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean 1 2 Digital technologies and productivity B The digitalization of production chains The potential of disruptive technologies to dynamize the region s sectors 1 2 Agro industry 3 Manufacturing 4 Retail C The digital ecosystem and the main barriers to digitalization of production 1 2 The digitalization of production processes in the region Factors that enable and constrain the digitalization of production D Digital policies for recovery and the transformation of production methods Bibliography IV Digital governance institutions and agendas Fifteen years on from the first regional digital agenda strengthening competition A Digital agendas empowerment and cross sectoral policies B Competition privacy and data security at the heart of digital agendas C D The regional digital market at the heart of subregional integration mechanisms Bibliography Annex IV A1 5 9 11 13 16 18 18 20 24 25 27 32 32 34 36 38 41 43 45 47 49 49 51 54 54 56 58 60 61 61 64 66 69 71 73 79 82 84 86 87 3 ndice Foreword 5 Pr logoTecnolog as digitales para un nuevo futuro In the two years since the sixth Ministerial Conference on the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean held in Cartagena de Indias Colombia in April 2018 issues in the digital sphere that were then considered to be emerging or incipient have come to occupy centre stage Meanwhile the coronavirus COVID 19 pandemic has had an unprecedented economic and social impact on Latin America and the Caribbean It is estimated that the region s GDP has contracted by about 7 7 that the value of exports has fallen by 13 and that reduced demand and the slowdown of supply have led to the closure of over 2 7 million businesses resulting in more than 18 million unemployed All these dynamics will have major effects on the level of inequality and poverty in the region and it is estimated that the number of people living in poverty will increase by more than 45 million In respect of digitalization 15 years on from the approval of the first Digital Agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean the region is facing a new world and a challenging context Some of the expectations of that time have been fulfilled but others have not Digital technologies have grown exponentially and their use has globalized Ubiquitous and continuous connectivity has reached much of humanity thanks to the mass take up of smartphones and the consequent access to information social networks and audiovisual entertainment The acceleration of technical progress in the digital realm has made the use of devices and applications employing cloud computing big data analysis blockchains or artificial intelligence routine The technological revolution has combined with a change in the strategies of the companies at the forefront of digital technology use to greatly increase the role of global platforms the result being that excessive economic and political power is wielded by no more than twenty or so corporations based in two or three world powers an all too small group of firms with market capitalizations of close to or more than a trillion dollars Technological progress has gone along with socially negative outcomes such

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