The Digital Sprinters: Boosting exports through digital technologies
The digital economy is creating significant export opportunities for businesses, and digital technologies are helping to lower the costs of exporting, particularly for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Latin America. Accelerated digitalization in recent years has enabled them to reap benefits such as the creation of new digital solutions, reduced costs of access to overseas markets and improved efficiency of exporting processes. However, just how big this impact is on exports remains largely a mystery given that national statistics have failed to keep pace with the rapid evolution of the digital economy.
This series of reports builds off Google’s past Digital Sprinters1 work, with an export-centric focus on six Latin American economies – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay.2 Our research finds that these countries are already experiencing a US$34 billion boost to their annual export values from the use of digital technologies, and this opportunity can potentially quadruple to reach US$140 billion by 2030.
At a regional level, the six countries should focus on bridging gaps in four key areas to capture the export opportunity offered by digital technologies. They are: 1) Build future-proof digital infrastructure, 2) Bridge digital skills gaps related to exports, 3) Promote digital security and build trust among businesses and consumers, and 4) Implement trade facilitation measures and policies. The private sector is already supporting in this regard – for instance, Google’s advertising platforms such as Google Ads and AdSense facilitate the internationalization and marketing outreach efforts of businesses. In addition, platforms such as Google Market Finder help firms to strategically enter overseas markets by identifying countries with the greatest export potential for different kinds of products and services.
Additionally, the six country-specific reports may be found below:
1 Digital Sprinters is a framework for harnessing the digital transformation of emerging markets (EMs) into sustainable, inclusive growth that could ultimately have tremendous ramifications on the global economic balance of power. The concept of “Digital Sprinters” recognizes that with the right strategies, EMs have tremendous potential to leapfrog more established markets. Source: Google (2020), The Digital Sprinters: Driving Growth in Emerging Markets. Available at: https://blog.google/documents/94/The_Digital_Sprinters_FINAL.pdf/
2 Country-specific policy gaps and recommendations are covered in the respective country reports.