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Author Bio


Edgar Cabañas

Edgar is an experienced professional in the field of structuring corporate finance, credit guarantees, supply chain finance, equity investments and project finance. He leads investment project teams within the Digital Economy at the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Invest). In 2014, he received the prestigious IDB Ortiz Mena award by the Inter-American Development Bank for improving efficiency and corporate solutions of the Bank through an innovative long-term local currency financing product and in 2019 & 2020 the LatinFinance Social Infrastructure Deal of the year and IJ Global Telecom of the year respectively for the equity investment in Internet Para Todos (Peru). With solid experience in leading a diverse pool of professionals, client relationship management, business development, structuring, and managing complex, multi-million dollar financial transactions in Latin America in industrial sectors such as cement, agribusiness, pulp and paper, textile, and telecom. Before the IDB Invest, he held a number of positions at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) including Advisor to the Executive Director for Uruguay, Bolivia, and Paraguay, Alternate Executive Director at the Multilateral Investment Fund, Private Sector Country Coordinator and Senior Investment Officer at the Inter-American Development Bank. Prior to joining the IDB Group, he worked as a Corporate Relationship Manager and Head of the Stress Asset Management Unit at Citigroup. He holds an MBA and MPA from the American University of Paraguay, and Kansas State University, including postgraduate studies in conflict resolution & Negotiation Mastery at Georgetown University and Harvard University respectively.

Posts by Edgar Cabañas

Digital Composition of a Chart
Nothing is Fated: Shaping an Equitable Digital Future Must be a Collective Endeavor

As the bricklayers of tomorrow’s landscape, telecommunications companies are responsible for collaborating with all actors within the new technologies ecosystem to harness the full potential of the digital era.

Digital Connectivity: Oil for the 21st Century

High-capacity data connections may be the oil of the 21st century: a potential source of great wealth for countries that best exploit this resource. A great example of this potential is Paraguay, a landlocked country equidistant from the large economies of South America.

Artificial Intelligence illustration
The Great Tech Revolution: Artificial General Intelligence & Multilateral Development Banks

By prioritizing ethics and sustainable development, providing technical assistance, and coordinating responses to potential risks, multilateral development banks can help ensure that artificial general intelligence is developed and used in a way that benefits everyone and minimizes potential harms.

Transforming a Region with Internet for All

The best example of the private sector’s role in advancing digital transformation in Latin America and the Caribbean is the Internet for All (Internet para Todos-IPT) project. It has given access to 4G Internet to more than 2.2 million people and over 12,500 rural communities in Peru over the last three years.

How to finance mobile network operators in Latin America and the Caribbean?
How to finance mobile network operators in Latin America and the Caribbean?

Mobile network operators offer subsidized phones against advanced payments at a reduced price. From a financial point of view, it is not sustainable.

Digital highways and their similarity to transportation highways
Digital highways and their similarity to transportation highways

Poor bandwidth infrastructure is like traveling on a dirt road. The technological disruption we are experiencing is something unprecedented. When we compare it to the industrial revolution and the enormous impact it has on per capita gross domestic product (GDP), we can assert with total certainty that this digital revolution is changing everything, from the corporate, to the social, and even the political order. Quite rightly we call it the industrial revolution 4.0. This explosion of technology occurs in the context of the world of data, data that can only be moved with the necessary infrastructure of digital networks. Thus, just like in any traditional highway infrastructure project, without routes to permit the movement of trucks, buses, and automobiles, we could not connect destinations, trades and people. In the world of technology, data would be the means of mobility like automobiles, and networks would be the digital highways or routes available in a country, which is directly determined by the country’s regulatory framework and capital investments in the country made by mobile or satellite telephone service operators. To put the importance of the digital highway in perspective, and using the example of Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica España: “It took landline phones 75 years to reach 100 million users and it’s taken Pokémon Go 23 days. Why? Because if networks are digitized, the capacity to distribute a digital product is immense.” In order for companies like YouTube, Airbnb, Netflix and Uber —to cite a few— to offer their services and connect data, information, services and products, it is vital to build and invest in an adequate digital highway. The data coming from these digital highways no doubt have the potential to improve lives and Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete summarizes this as follows: “Analog life will merge with digital life. Buying patterns, how cars are driven, gas, water and electricity meters, microwaves, the refrigerator, the dishwasher…everything will be connected to the Internet and transmit data.” Thus, we must have digital highways so that this exponential quantity of data can be processed. To ensure the positive effects of the 21st century’s digital economy, constructing and investing in those digital highways must be the priority for economic development and social inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. IDB Invest has invested and will continue to invest in the region in projects that help to expand the digital highway, because we know that 10% penetration by broadband has an average economic effect of 2% to 3% on GDP and 2.6% on productivity. Subscribe to receive more content like this! [mc4wp_form]