There’s a saying in Spanish, “no hay mal que por bien no venga” (every cloud has a silver lining), which sums up well the views of a small panel that assembled in Los Angeles Friday to discuss e-commerce opportunities in Latin America. Even when times are hard, they said, opportunities present themselves to the industrious.

The panel was part of E-Commerce Latin America Style, an event held within the larger context of the Internet World show held last week.

Barriers to e-commerce growth in Latin America have been well documented. They include low credit card penetration, the wide variety of cultures and languages that comprise the region, a relatively weak telecommunications infrastructure, and a hodgepodge of trade regulations that differ from state to state. Nevertheless, those barriers should not be seen as strong impediments to online trade in the region, panelists said.

“Where there is a weakness there is always an opportunity,” said panelist Ren



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