Latin American Economic Outlook 2020

Digital Transformation for Building Back Better

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The Latin American Economic Outlook (LEO) 2020 focuses on the role of digital transformation in helping to navigate through challenging times. The Covid-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on socio-economic conditions, accentuating the already complex scenario faced by a region with significant structural weaknesses. This unprecedented crisis comes at a time of high aspirations and reinforces the need to transform the very foundations of the development model in the region. The report explores how digital transformation can help to cope with the current socio-economic situation, boost productivity, strengthen institutions and achieve higher levels of inclusion and well-being. The LEO 2020 also highlights that international partnerships are fundamental to reaping the benefits of the digital transformation.

The LEO is a joint annual publication produced by the OECD Development Centre, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the European Union (EU). It is the first pillar of the EU Regional Facility for Development in Transition for Latin America and the Caribbean.

English Also available in: Spanish


Panama aims to shape an inclusive digital economy and stronger, more transparent administration with the use of digital tools. The country has made efforts to enhance digital access and use for all. Internet users, active mobile broadband and fixed broadband subscriptions increased in the last decade although regional, gender and age disparities remain a challenge. Panama rose in the E-Government Development Index from 0.47 in 2008 to 0.61 in 2018, which is below the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) average (0.65). The index measures national administrations’ willingness and capacity to use information and communications technology (ICT) to deliver public services. The UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index shows that the economy, despite being a regional hub, is slightly below the LAC average for online shopping.

English Also available in: Spanish

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