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ECLAC Sees Digitalisation As Gateway To Regional Economic Reform

(Trinidad Guardian) Digital transformation can help Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region recover more quickly from the COVID‑19 crisis, according to the Latin American Economic Outlook (LEO) 2020: Digital Transformation for Building Back Better.

LEO 2020 documents the pandemic’s dramatic impact on the most vulnerable and marginalised.

According to the report, microenterprises have been hit particularly hard with 2.7 million of them likely to close, resulting in the loss of 8.5 million jobs.

On the eve of the crisis, 40 percent of workers in LAC economies did not have access to any form of social protection and 60 percent worked informally.

“We expect more than 45 million additional people will fall into poverty. The socio-economic crisis makes a new development model more urgent than ever. Digitalisation could be a powerful tool to overcome the structural challenges of the region, only if it is considered as a comprehensive way to foster progressive structural change, through policies for the generation of new sectors, quality jobs, the development of capacities and innovation,” said Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC.

“The crisis has created the momentum for long-overdue reforms that can help spread the benefits of digital transformation to achieve inclusive and resilient growth. It also highlights the urgent need to bridge the digital divides between territories, families, students, workers and firms”, said Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD.

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