Press Release


RIAC Meeting Coordinated by the OAS and Panama Presents "Signs of Competitiveness in the Americas” 2013 Report

  October 2, 2013

The Annual Meeting of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC), which was held today in Panama City, presented the Signs of Competitiveness in the Americas" 2013 Report produced by Panama with the support of the Organization of American States (OAS).

This second edition of the report presents a perspective on infrastructure in the region, the challenges it poses for the future, in addition to bringing together more than 60 experiences on projects and initiatives undertaken by countries to be more innovative, competitive and prosperous, and to make progress in development, in the context of the Ten General Competitiveness Principles of the Americas. The report includes case studies from 18 countries and six international institutions to bring together concrete offers and requests for collaboration in 2014; such as the “Start –Up” project in Chile which has invited countries to get to know their program and the benefits it offers.

At the meeting, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago assumed the presidency pro tempore of the RIAC for 2014, and will host the next Annual Meeting of the Network and the next Americas Competitiveness Forum in 2014. The 2015 and 2016 meetings will be held in Guatemala and Mexico, respectively. The RIAC was launched in 2009 in Santiago de Chile, in the framework of the Third Forum, and the OAS has served since then as its Technical Secretariat.

Network members welcomed the Action Plan proposed by Trinidad and Tobago for their work in the RIAC from now until the holding of the Forum in Port of Spain, which will have as its theme "the Human Imagination at Work: Driving Competitiveness, Powering Innovation."

The plan is based on three objectives: support for the realization of the offers and demands of the countries that are part of the Second “Signs of Competitiveness in the Americas" report; production of the third report of the matter, which should include more experiences, particularly ones focused on the chosen theme; and support for the consolidation of the RIAC Expert Group on Subnational Competitiveness.

The RIAC meeting in Panama was opened by the Executive Secretary for Integral Development of the Organization of American States (OAS), Sherry Tross, and Kristelle Getzler, the Executive Secretary for Economic Affairs and Competitiveness of the Ministry of the Presidency of Panama and 2013 President Pro Tempore of the RIAC.

Executive Secretary Tross, in her welcoming remarks, said, "At the OAS, we are convinced that the RIAC is a valuable space for building consensus and promoting cooperation among the countries of the region." " The theme that Panama has chosen for this Forum," continued the senior OAS official, "linked to infrastructure, allows us to review the kind of development we are envisioning and carrying out in our countries. In the letter of invitation to the Forum and 2013 RIAC Meeting we are invited to collaborate in the construction of Infrastructure 3.0."

"Infrastructure 3.0 refers to the aspiration of our countries to attain the economic, social, environmental and sustainability conditions that allow us to build more just societies with better prospects for prosperity, consciousness, and coexistence," said Executive Secretary Tross, who went on to raise several questions to the participants on the issue, including: "Are we creating the best spaces and conditions so that we and future generations will live better? How do we build modernity without compromising our values, human nature and our environment? Is the education we receive the best way to take full advantage of our imagination, creativity and innovation?"

For her part, Executive Secretary of Panama Getzler spoke on behalf of her country as the outgoing President Pro Tempore of the RIAC: "during the course of 2013 we have facilitated the exchange of good practices and cooperation between countries, the knowledge of lessons learned has been deepened through more than seven meetings, both conventional and virtual. We had an excellent meeting of the Management Committee last May, in which 9 countries and multiple institutions offered concrete contributions and experiences that are reflected in the program of the Forum and in the information and connections at a bilateral level that have been agreed between us. "

These results and experiences, said Executive Secretary Getzler , "show us the capacity for action we can generate as countries and international organizations working together on clearly defined tasks."

RIAC Members are the Competitiveness Authorities and Councils of the countries of the Americas, which are supported in their work by institutions such as the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Compete Caribbean Program, the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC), the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE), the TEC of Monterrey and the International Training Centre for Local Actors (CIFAL), among others.

During the meeting, participants also received a report on the results of the Expert Group on Subnational Competitiveness of the RIAC, a presentation on the progress and challenges in the field of infrastructure from the perspective of multilateral organizations and academics, the results of the Honduras Forum 2030 "International Experiences of Competitiveness," and a presentation on challenges, innovation, technology, and the social sciences as a collaborative space to promote competitiveness in the Americas.

The RIAC Annual Meeting was held in Panama City in the framework of the Seventh Americas Competitiveness Forum, which takes place from today until Friday, October 4 in the Panamanian city.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.

Reference: E-367/13