Dubai, UAE: Latin America is open for business and disruptive ecosystems should be seen as a growth opportunity and not a barrier to investment, according to industry experts at the Global Business Forum on Latin America 2018 in Dubai.
Participating in a panel session entitled “Funding Disruption – Realising the Potential of Innovation”, Erich Archer, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Monashees, Brazil; Fabrizio Opertti, Head of Trade and Investment, Inter-American Development Bank, USA; and Dr. Anil Khurana, Partner, PWC, shared their thoughts and perspectives on new technologies and trends reshaping business models in Latin America.
The panelists identified financial infrastructure and education as key elements that are crucial to fostering a culture of innovation across the region and enhancing its competitiveness.
Latin America is innovating, according to Mr Opertti, who revealed that more than 50% of companies in the region are using the Internet specifically for trading business. He noted that Latin America’s exports are diverse and cover everything from seismic architecture engineering fundamental in protecting infrastructure against earthquakes and natural disasters, to micro-chipped cows that beam data into computer software for agri-businesses.
Dr Khurana also stressed the need for more investment in research and development as this field plays a crucial role in developing and advancing education, adding that innovation should be instilled in youth who will turn their creative ideas into new growth and business opportunities in the future.
Eric Archer explained that Latin America offers plenty of investment opportunities within its growing tech industry, as well as other emerging industries such as blockchain, fintech and virtual reality.
For his part, Racher shared his view that the development of eco-systems between BRIC countries is having a significant impact on the venture capital market, while Fabrizio Opertti pointed to the fact that former expats and entrepreneurs returning to Latin America use new found knowledge to set up businesses in the region.
Concluding the session, Dr. Khurana noted that companies have taken advantage of cost-effective platforms spaces such as the cloud for analysis, accounting and forecasting – an opportunity that Latin America had seized and used to its advantage.
The Global Business Forum on Latin America 2018 is part of Dubai Chamber’s Global Business Forum series, launched in 2013 to highlight new investment opportunities in a number of emerging and dynamic global markets, including Africa, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Latin America.
GBF Latin America, held on February 27th-28th, brought together top-level decision makers, including heads of state, ministers, dignitaries, prominent CEOs, heads of private banks, sovereign wealth funds, private equity firms, business leaders, and entrepreneurs from Latin America, the GCC and beyond.