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OAS Advances Hemispheric Dialogue on Competitiveness

  November 15, 2010

Authorities on competitiveness from 27 countries of the hemisphere, more than 100 experts and distinguished international organizations met during the III Meeting of Americas Competitiveness Authorities and Councils, organized by the OAS, on Sunday, November 14, 2010, in Atlanta, Georgia.

The meeting was held in the framework of the IV Americas Competitiveness Forum and facilitated an analysis on the current state of competitiveness, the exchange of experiences, and discussion about reforms necessary for achieving progress on an agenda of hemispheric competitiveness that contributes to making our economies more productive, competitive and prosperous.

During the event’s opening, the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin, said a holistic development approach is necessary, one that is based on productive diversification that takes into account as conditions for growth and prosperity the potential of human capital, the competitive advantages of countries in the region, and institutional capabilities.

Ramdin highlighted the importance to innovation, productivity and competitiveness of collaboration and of the exchange of experiences and lessons related to regulatory frameworks, programs and support instruments. He also highlighted the need to have organizations in charge of bringing consensus among the different points of view and plan the necessary initiatives to foment competitiveness and long-term growth strategies. These organizations must emphasize the need for an institutional and regulatory framework that favors investment and entrepreneurship, and assist the private sector in adapting to the new realities of globalization, as well as foment a productive sector at the global level that creates employment, economic growth and exports.

The Inter-American Competitiveness Network (IACN) is gaining greater significance in our countries for being a catalyzing mechanism for the efforts being carried out to promote an agenda of productivity, competitiveness and innovation, said Andrés van der Horst, IACN president and Minister-director of the Dominican Republic’s National Competitiveness Council.

Former Costa Rican president José María Figueres, who spoke about an analytical framework on competitiveness in the Americas, said that during the next 20 to 30 years we will see a transition towards low-carbon economies. “That is, we will learn how to make further use of the environment as an opportunity to generate the jobs we need, the quality of life we deserve, while fighting climate change,” he said.

Towards that end, Figueres said, it is strategically important to have greater levels of competitiveness, and that institutions like the OAS—through its Department of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism—promote this agenda with strong participation from the private sector.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-435/10