Global Firms Seek Out Long-Term Potential of LATAM Market

While Shopee eyes the Latin American market, Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi set to leverage its multi-purpose fund to reduce fees for passengers going to vaccination appointments and frontline healthcare workers traveling to vaccination locations. A study by the European Union finds that Mercosur will account for 53% of imports made by E.U. in the agricultural sector by 2030. Global consultancy firm Accenture has acquired Argentina-based cloud services firm Wolox, and The Economist analyzes the impact of the Biden presidency in LATAM.

Shopee, the largest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, is scaling up its operations in Brazil and evaluating the long-term potential of Latin American markets.

Shopee Scales Brazil Operations, Eyeing LATAM Potential

Shopee, the e-commerce arm of Southeast Asia’s Sea Ltd, is scaling up its operations in Brazil and evaluating the long-term potential of Latin American markets, according to sources close to the matter. Shopee, the largest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia according to market researchers, launched a small presence in Brazil in late 2019 as a pilot initiative of its cross-border team.

Reuters reports that the company is now growing its presence and moving executives from Southeast Asia to Brazil. The Singapore-headquartered technology group’s shares surged more than 400% in 2020, taking its market capitalisation to $120 billion and raised close to $3 billion in a stock offering last month.

According to analytics firm App Annie, Shopee Brazil’s app had more monthly active users in December than Amazon’s unit in the country, although it remained significantly behind large regional players, such as Argentinian e-commerce market leader Mercado Libre.

The sources said Shopee is assessing the potential of other Latin American markets if Brazil proves successful, but has so far made “no definite expansion plans”.

Didi to Subsidize Trips for Vaccinations with $10M Global Fund

As nations around the world prepare to vaccinate the population against the coronavirus, tech companies are rushing to demonstrate their willingness to help fight the deadly virus. China’s ride share leader Didi Chuxing is pledging a $10 million fund to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts in 13 markets outside its home country China.

Tech Crunch reports that the multi-purpose fund will be used to reduce fees for passengers going to vaccination appointments and frontline healthcare workers traveling to vaccination locations. The fund will also sponsor future measures based on a market’s local needs, adding that it will continue working with the respective governments.

It’s still unclear how the company plans to allocate the funds across the dozens of markets: including Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Australia, Japan, Russia and New Zealand.

“We will share more details locally as vaccinations roll out and our local support plans are finalized,” said a spokesperson for the company.

Mercosur Will Account for 53% of Imports Made by E.U. in Agricultural Sector by 2030

A study by the European Union concluded that the agricultural sector of the Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) will be the main beneficiary of the trade agreements made by the European Union, the newspaper Valor Econômico reports.

It is estimated that imports made by the European Union under 12 trade agreements will reach €38.8 billion, of which more than half of that amount (€20.4 billion) will be spent on Mercosur products.

According to the study, Mercosur already leads the agri-food exports to the European market. Although the forecast is positive, sales will not grow as much as they could. The findings suggest that the European Union strategy to increase agri-food exports from Europe and have more restrained increases in imports.

Accenture Buys Wolox to Boost Cloud Business in South America

Global consultancy firm Accenture has acquired Argentina-based cloud services firm Wolox for an undisclosed sum. Accenture said that the deal will strengthen its cloud services business in Argentina and South America.

Sergio Kaufman, president of Accenture Argentina and Hispanic South America explained:

“We will integrate Wolox across Accenture’s services, including Strategy & Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations, enabling us to deliver 360 degree value for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities.”

Yahoo Finance reports that last month, Accenture reported 1Q results and raised its fiscal year revenue forecast. The company's 1Q earnings of $2.17 per share grew 8% year-over-year and topped the Street’s estimates of $2.02 per share. Revenue increased 4% year-over-year to $11.76 billion and beat the Street consensus of $11.28 billion. New bookings grew 25% to $12.9 billion in the first quarter.

Joe Biden will Shift Gears in Latin America


The following audio published by The Economist discusses the future impact of the Biden presidency’s policy and influence in Latin America.

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