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A Digital Strategy for Competitiveness and Integration in the Northern Triangle

Recommendations to drive forward a digital strategy designed to benefit all governments, citizens, and economies in the Central America Northern Triangle.

Report by Matthew Rooney and Jenny Villatoro June 25, 2020

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A Digital Strategy for Competitiveness and Integration in the Northern Triangle outlines five recommendations to drive forward a digital strategy designed to benefit all governments, citizens, and economies in the Northern Triangle. The region has taken important steps to achieve digital policy goals, but more action and regional coordination are needed to catch up with the rest of the world. 

The report urges the governments to work together to overcome setbacks from COVID-19 and put the region on a solid path to recovery and growth. It also outlines how the U.S. government can continue to support a digital evolution across the region in ways that constitute a logical extension to previous U.S. assistance programs. 

Digitization offers cross-cutting benefits, including opportunities to curtail corruption, increase trust in government among the region’s citizens, improve access to critical social services in education and health, enable the region’s businesses to access new customers, create jobs, tap investment opportunities, and successfully compete in the global economy. The report calls on governments to work with civil society and the private sector to advance modern national digital strategies as a region. 

In 2018, the Bush Institute launched the CAPP program to develop action-oriented strategies for achieving inclusive growth in the Northern Triangle. The program brings together experienced Central American leaders with the emerging generations of leaders for a series of focused discussions on the efforts the region has made over the past two decades, particularly in the context of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), to establish a positive economic trajectory. 

In May 2019, CAPP released an initial paper calling on the governments in the Northern Triangle to develop and implement a national and regional digitization strategy. The recommendations published today offer a prioritized policy agenda to facilitate digitization that the Bush Institute and our CAPP partners intend to work together to promote over the coming weeks and months. We believe that there are important opportunities in all three countries, and in the Central American region more broadly, to promote these reforms.