Santiago 2022: A Conversation on Innovation and Inclusive Growth

Google's Doron Avni covered why Chile—and Latin America overall—presents new opportunities for tech investments. 


  • Doron Avni, Senior Director of Government Affairs & Public Policy for Emerging Markets, Google
  • Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

In a conversation on innovation and technology at AS/COA’s 2022 Latin American Cities Conference in Santiago, Google’s Doron Avni talked about his company’s $1.2 billion, five-year investment in Latin America, explaining that despite the toll taken by Covid-19, the pandemic also led to digital transformation in the region. For example, over the past year, Latin America grew the most globally in e-commerce. Moreover, the region has witnessed a huge drive in entrepreneurship. When Google opened a campus for entrepreneurs in Brazil, there were no unicorns. Now there are 35 in the region, 13 of which Google supports through its programs.

Given that Google is now marking a decade with operations in Chile, AS/COA’s Susan Segal asked Avni about innovation that has occurred in the country so far and opportunities he sees going forward. Avni highlighted Google’s data center in Chile as the company’s only one in the southern hemisphere, noting it contributes $250 million per year to the country’s GDP and that 80 percent of the energy driving the center is carbon-free. “Chile has traditionally been [an] open-minded, pro-innovation, pro-tech country,” says Avni, adding that it has the human capital to help tech companies grow.