Techno-integration of Latin America: institutions, exponential trade, and equality in the era of algorithms

Nov 2017
As part of a Regional Public Good (BPR), 20,200 Latin Americans from 18 countries were interviewed on issues of integration, democracy, equity, environment, technology, and innovation. In a world where globalization is being strongly questioned, particularly among developed countries, it is concluded that Latin Americans are very committed to regional integration. The integration process is challenged by the complexity implied by a heterogeneous regional structure with important differences between countries and within them. The differences are many, ranging from income distribution, productive specialization, the weight of their economies in the regional GDP, belonging to different trade blocs, the preference for certain partners at the time of closer ties, exposure and vulnerability to climate change, to the degree of penetration of ICTs. However, this study shows that there is a common agenda that must be addressed and that can set the pace of regional integration. Social convergence is observed not only in the high support for regional integration and in the existence of an unsatisfied demand for integration, but also in the desire of people to live in a more equitable society, responsible in the use of their natural resources, committed to the fight against climate change and the free movement of people, connected through ICTs and universal access to the Internet, with better quality of democratic institutions, and with greater citizen participation in the decision making process of government and justice. Since this is the agenda for development and regional integration, the opportunity offered by ICTs cannot be overlooked, both in the construction of a subject with a critical conscience, capable of visualizing the problems that afflict it, as well as in its powerful potential to strengthen trade links between countries, strengthen democracy and enhance the development of the region.