Cisco Blogs

Latin America reconsiders its infrastructure needs

- April 13, 2010 - 2 Comments

Last week the World Economic Forum on Latin America was held in the beautiful city of Cartagena de Indias, in the transformed Colombia.  It closed with a call for the region not to be complacent and redouble efforts to pursue economic and social reforms and at the same time deepen regional integration.

Despite all the optimism about the bright future of the region and the way Latin America has successfully weathered the crisis, most of the leaders called out for action and concrete decisions to secure the way forward for millions of Latin Americans.

Technology and the role of ICT for the future of the region was a key topic discussed and debated in most of the public and private sessions around infrastructure, education, health care and even political stability.

This year the theme of the summit was “New Partnership for a Sustainable Recovery”. The meeting brought together over 500 leaders from more than 42 countries, representing business, government, academia, civil society and media.

Jaime Valles, Cisco vice president for Latin America, gives his perspectives on the major themes raised at WEF in Cartagena (English)

We at Cisco had again, as the last 4 years, the opportunity and the privilege to participate actively on this meeting and be part of the conversations, listening, discussing and expressing our points of view.

We discussed the importance to include broadband in the infrastructure agenda. Broadband is a key infrastructure for the region and should be considered the fourth utility along with electricity, water and transportation. Especially at this moment when the region needs to improve productivity, broadband infrastructure in general and ICT in particular could help to increase productivity as happened in the United States in the 90’s.

Education was a key question raised in most of the sessions. It is clear the importance of education for the future of the region and the role technology plays here both in terms of coverage and quality. Latin America needs a new educational model aligned with the economic and social vision of the region.

WEF Cartagena was a great opportunity to listen, learn and engage on the key conversations that are happening right now in Latin America.  

And for Spanish speakers here’s Jaime Valles summing up the event in native tongue:

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. Hi,I live in Brazil.The Brazilian Government is thinking of creating a new State owned company, with the specific purpose of laying and operating a broadband network across the country.There have been discussions about the subject, because many people oppose to yet another State company (Telebras, the old phone operator, privatized in 1998, isn't missed by anyone).However, the Government says that the current private operators have no interest in expanding their network to poorer areas (such as the Nordeste, where I live), hence a State company is needed.

  2. it has been pleasing to see Latin America emerge from the economic crisis without more serious impact - let's hope proper infrastructure planning will allow this dynamic region to thrive.