Defining priorities to improve competitiveness in Latin America

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Editor's Note: Esperanza Lasagabaster is a Senior Economist in the Finance and Private Sector Development Group of the Latin America and Caribbean region

Improving national competitiveness has the potential to boost growth, increase employment and improve living standards. During the recent global economic downturn Latin America and the Caribbean overall fared better than other regions. In spite of this, challenges remain for the region to fully benefit from renewed global growth. How can countries in Latin American and the Caribbean prepare to take full advantage of new opportunities in global industry, trade and employment?

One of the key challenges for policymakers is defining priorities within a broad competitiveness agenda. Policymakers from around the region will be gathering in Mexico City to discuss these priorities on July 26-27 at the conference on Promoting Competitiveness in Latin America and the Caribbean hosted by the World Bank and the Mexican Secretary of Economy. Panels on best practices in promoting innovation, competition, efficient labor markets, and trade opportunities have been convened -- with a broad range of policy makers, academics and private sector representatives from the region participating.

More than 25 speakers will discuss successful experiences in strengthening competitiveness in their home countries. Highlights include policymaker/academic Andrés Velasco, Harvard economics professor and former Finance Minister of Chile, who will provide the opening address about the productivity of Latin America in the global context. Innovative Brazilian aerospace giant Embraer, will send Director Marcus Tollendal Costa, to talk about enabling framework for entrepreneurship and technology transfer. And Irish Minister of Labor Affairs and Public Service Transformation Dara Calleary will cross the pond to discuss his country’s experience with labor reform and tripartite agreements as a pillar of his country's competitiveness strategy. The conference will close with a roundtable discussion on the role of governments in promoting competitiveness, featuring ministers and other high ranking officials from Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Uruguay.

If you are a policymaker, academic or private sector representative working to promote national competitiveness, please join us for what promises to be a very interesting conference in Mexico City by registering here.

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