The event took place in Lima, Peru, a country which has recently enjoyed sustained economic strength and a vigorous business revival. That resurgence has helped it join the group of countries (Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Panama) driving Latin America’s economic development.
The topics discussed at this year’s Forum were radically different to previous years. Macro topics like macroeconomic stability, fiscal discipline and exchange rate policies, which dominated discussions at previous summits, gave way to micro topics such as the resurgence of the middle class, the future of education, competitiveness, productivity, innovation and new models for maintaining sustainable economic growth. Most conversations also contemplated the need to move in the short term, from an economy based on natural resources and raw materials, to one based on value-added sectors.
This thematic shift is due, no doubt, to the successes in Latin America in the past decade. Indeed, during the last decade, the region as a whole has seen an unprecedented economic growth, at a time when other regions of the world have stopped growing or even decreased. One proof point: in the last 10 years, Latin America added 50 million people to the middle class, and moved 70 million people of poverty. It is expected that economic growth in the region will hover around 4% in the coming years.
From the perspective of information and communication technologies ICT, the opportunities are huge. Only 10% of the population in the region has access to a fixed broadband connection today. It is anticipated that in the next five years, 400 million people will gain access to broadband, 260 million of them through wireless connections. Large investments in infrastructure will be needed to realize these goals.
From the perspective of education and jobs, it is estimated that nearly half of the 589 million people in the region are aged less than 25 years. Innovative thinking will be required to deliver appropriate education to those young people, and to create 50 million new jobs for them in the next decade. This contrasts with the shortage of ICT professionals in the region by 2015, which we estimate will be approximately 300,000 trained professionals.
Jordi Botifoll participated as a panelist in the session “New engines of growth.” In this and other discussions, we talked about the role technology and the network in particular plays to increase the competitiveness of the region and to enable productivity increases.
It is during these times of prosperity and optimism, and when the winds are in our favor, that the region needs structural reforms that will enable the region to be more competitive. And for this it is important to undertake long-term investments in critical areas such as education, technology and infrastructure and thus close the competitiveness gap with other countries.
If we do not have major changes in this regard, the region cannot maintain sustainable levels of economic growth and social inclusion. According to the Global Competitiveness rankings from WEF, among the 144 countries measured by the report, the country with the best position in the ranking from Latin America is Chile (33), followed by Panama (40), Brazil (48), Mexico (53), Peru (61), Colombia (69), Argentina (94). Still a long way to go. There are new opportunities for the region, but also great challenges ahead.
Can broadband lead to economic growth and employment?
This year’s edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report (GITR), sponsored in part by Cisco, tackles this critical question and the answer is a decisive ‘yes’. Launched today (April 10) in New York, this year’s GITR, titled “Growth and Jobs in a Hyperconnected World”, details how 144 countries are investing in broadband and IT, and realizing benefits of economic growth and employment.
The top of the report’s Networked Readiness Index (NRI) rankings are dominated by northern European, north American and ‘Asia Tiger’ countries. Several emerging countries, however, are making significant strides: Mexico (progressing from 76th to 63rd) and Colombia (advancing from 73rd to 66th) in Latin America, Turkey (moving from 52nd to 45th) in Central and Eastern Europe, and Kazakhstan (improving twelve positions rom 55th to 43rd) and Georgia (rising from 88th to 65th place) in the CIS region.
But while these emerging countries experienced gains in their Networked Readiness, other emerging economies are not making progress in narrowing the divide. So what can countries do to boost broadband adoption in order to capture economic growth and employment benefits?
We found that governments seeking to expand broadband adoption emphasize policies that focus on fostering demand as well as broadband supply. (Figure 1)
Broad-basedplans are the most comprehensive and incorporate a wide range of policy recommendations on both supply- and demand-side dimensions. Examples of broad-based country plans include the United States (2010) and Qatar (2011).
Supply-driven plans focus on actions to build out infrastructure and increase broadband availability through competition and investment policies; they also include direct action to reach underserved populations. Country examples include Australia (2009), Germany (2009) and the United Kingdom (2010).
Demand-drivenplans focus on intensifying the utilization of broadband and ICTs to drive economic growth such as in Morocco (2008) and Poland (2008).
A minority of plans are limited in both the supply- and demand-sides. However, even these Emergentplans are valuable as they begin a national conversation on broadband.
The taxonomy we developed (see Figure 2) establishes a common language governments can use as they develop their national broadband plan and provides a way to identify gaps in current broadband policy environments. Countries without a cohesive national broadband plan risk losing ground in terms of global competitiveness.
Welcome to the Cisco Sizzle! Each month, we’ll be rounding up the best of the best from across our social media channels for your reading pleasure. From the most read blog posts to the top engaging content on Facebook or LinkedIn, catch up on things you might have missed, or on the articles you just want to see again, all in one place.
Let’s take our first look into the Cisco vault …
16 Years and Counting
What makes your company great to work for? For the 16th year in a row (yes, 16 years in a row!), Cisco is on Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” list!
Today: The Internet of Things
Dave Evans introduces the Internet of Things (IoT) through an infographic that represents the increase of “things” connected to the Internet.
Tomorrow: The Internet of Everything
Dave Evans takes a look into the Internet of Everything (IoE), which brings together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before.
Connecting the Unconnected
Remember the days of dial-up? Cisco VP Marie Hattar looks at the evolution of the Internet and how Cisco technologies are fueling the transition from IoT to IoE.
Tomorrow Starts Here
Cisco is waking up the world. Explore how IoE will change the way we work, live, play and learn:
World Economic Forum: Pushing Innovation
Last month, Cisco CEO John Chambers participated in a World Economic Forum roundtable discussion hosted and moderated by TIME. In his words, “if you don’t take risks and don’t push innovation, you will get left behind very quickly.”
“We believe economic progress without social development is not sustainable, while social development without economic progress is not feasible.” – Klaus Schwab, Founder and Chairman of the World Economic Forum
Historically individuals and institutions have often been limited to the results of their individual efforts to make an impact. With the advent of the Internet and widespread broadband connection, however, it is now possible to efficiently join with others to act collectively -- pooling global resources and talents to solve problems too big to solve alone. This is the power of collective knowledge, creativity, and commitment in a connected age. This is what Cisco believes as we consider, plan, and execute our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
One way in which Cisco works collaboratively to make a global impact is by participating in events like this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. Cisco is one of the strategic partners of the event and our Chairman and CEO, John Chambers, will be speaking as part of a panel addressing Leading through Adversity on Wednesday, January 23 from 9 to 10 a.m. (CET) (midnight to 1 a.m. PST/3 to 4 a.m. EST).
If any doubts remained about the soaring demand for online media, the London Olympics probably dispelled them.
With 217 million viewers in the United States alone, it was the most-watched television event in history. But it also illuminated the evolving habits of online consumers. For starters, two events—the women’s soccer final and women’s gymnastics final—accounted for more online viewership than all events combined during the 2008 Olympics. Tablet computers, particularly the iPad, are driving this trend.
These kinds of striking transitions in online media consumption were top of mind during two gatherings that I attended last week. The first was a roundtable discussion of media executives in Hollywood, which I moderated; the other was a World Economic Forum Industry Partnership Strategy Meeting in New York, focused on media entertainment and mobility.
It was a privilege to be around such industry brain trusts and to share research from Cisco IBSG. Here are four core topics of conversation that emerged: Read More »