Latin American leaders push for ICT innovation at World Economic Forum

Monday, May 2, 2011

Latin American countries need to invest in innovation to reach Asia's level of development and capitalize on growth opportunities, news agency EPA reported political and business leaders saying at the World Economic Forum for Latin America.

The leaders participating at the sixth edition of the regional forum, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, agreed that despite Latin America's being the region with the most growth after Asia, it needs to invest in education, science, technology and innovation to surpass Asia.

Dominican President Leonel Fernández said the region must move beyond exporting raw goods and into the exportation of services with a higher added value, such as ICT, software and biotechnology.

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According to Mexican economy secretary Bruno Ferrari de García de Alba, for Latin America to see sustainable development, it has to join research, sciences and technology with the production sector.

The Mexican official also said Latin American governments need to prioritize policies that encourage innovation. He highlighted overcoming challenges like education and innovation as the way for the region to take advantage of opportunities arising from the expectation that the next 10 years will be the so-called decade for Latin America.

President of Brazilian airplane manufacturer Embraer and co-president of the forum, Frederico Fleury Curado, pushed for governments to adopt incentive policies for science and technology. However, companies cannot expect innovation to be financed only through public resources, he said.