Closing Latin America’s Competitiveness Gap through Skills and Innovation
Oliver Cann, Director, Public Engagement, Tel.: +41 (0)79 799 3405, oliver.cann@weforum.orgPortuguês I Espa?ol Latin America has an urgent need to boost its productivity to sustain and enhance competitivenessReport responds to concerns about skills mismatch and low innovation in the context of declining commodity prices, global economic slowdownRecommends a systemic and collaborative approach to address skills and innovation challengesDownload the full report here:, Switzerland, 23 January 2015 – Latin America’s lagging competitiveness must be addressed by increasing the level and efficiency of investments and by fostering intra-regional and private public collaborations, recommends a new report, Bridging the Skills and Innovation Gap to Boost Productivity in Latin America, published today by the World Economic Forum.The report identifies skills and innovation as two of the biggest challenges preventing the region from reaching its full competitiveness potential, sustaining prosperity and raising the well-being of its citizens. It highlights the importance and urgency of addressing the region’s skills mismatch and low investment in innovation in order to sustain the growth of the past years and reduce its vulnerability to external market conditions, especially in the context of a global economic slowdown. To help Latin America bridge its skills and innovation gap, the report presents 10 recommendations for Latin America’s political, business and civil society leaders to collaboratively address these challenges across sectors and national borders. The recommendations are:Continue to strengthen framework conditions to enable skills and innovation investments to thriveEnhance institutional capacity to evaluate, monitor, and manage policy design and implementationAlign investments to critical economic and social needs with pre-defined milestones and exit strategiesBoost private investment in innovation through traditional and alternative financing vehiclesCreate a standardized, regional catalogue of research competenciesDesign public-private research and skills development funding schemesDefine and implement cross-sectorial vocational education and training programmesEstablish a regional multi-annual research and innovation fundEnable a freer flow and exchange of students and researchers in the regionEmploy a flexible implementation approach via small scale pilots and an opt-in strategyThe report, produced in collaboration with Deloitte, represents the results of the World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Lab, a new initiative launched in 2013 to support the implementation of actionable agendas through public-private collaborations that increase competitiveness. The report is a culmination of the experiences and insights from the Competitiveness Lab steering board, composed of Latin American leaders from public, private and civil sectors, as well as data and analysis from the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.“These recommendations present an actionable and collaborative approach for the region’s leaders to begin tackling their skills and innovation challenges, and we believe these recommendations will inspire real opportunities for commitment and action,” said Espen Barth Eide, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum.“There is an enormous untapped potential for competitiveness in Latin America. Boosting private investment to help energize innovation and entrepreneurship is key to enhancing not only the region’s productivity, but also the prosperity and well-being of the people in the region,” said John Levis, Global Chief Innovation Officer at Deloitte.The co-chairs of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015 are: Hari S. Bhartia, Co-Chairman and Founder, Jubilant Bhartia Group, India; Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International, United Kingdom; Katherine Garrett-Cox, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Alliance Trust, United Kingdom; Young Global Leader Alumnus; Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank, Washington DC; Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google, USA; and Roberto Egydio Setubal, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, Itaú Unibanco, Brazil.Notes to EditorsAll about the Annual Meeting 2015: Meeting app: Forum programme: webcasts:; on demand webcast in Spanish:; Japanese webcast in Chinese;; on demand live video, social media, photographs, blogs and website: photos archive: and on Flickr a Facebook fan: us on Twitter: and (hashtag #WEF)Read our Blogs: us on Google+: this:Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)