Development Centre

12th Forum of Latin-American Perspectives, Madrid, Spain, 10-12 November 2001


Organised jointly by the Inter-American Development Bank and the OECD Development Centre
in co-operation with the Ibero-American Co-operation Secretariat


Competitiveness and new technologies in Latin America

Saturday 10 November: Expert's Meeting

(Reserved for experts)
Held at the headquarters of the Ibero-American Co-operation Secretariat (SECIB), Calle Serrano 187 Madrid 28002

Report from Session 1: Obstacle to Business Development and the Size of Firms in Latin America
Report from Session 2:

Report from Session 3:

Session 4: Labour training and competitiveness in South America

Session 5: The Internet and the ability to adapt and innovate in Latin America

Monday 12 November: Public Conference

Casa de América, Paseo de Recoletos 2 28001 Madrid

Background note

Trade liberalisation and market deregulation in Latin American countries have triggered two far-reaching changes: patterns of production specialisation have changed to reflect the working of market signals and this, in turn, has modified the structural characteristics of the region's participation in the world economy. Yet, this broad picture masks the wide heterogeneity of corporate responses to the new business-friendly environment.

In particular, access to labour, technology and capital markets in Latin America continues to differ greatly depending on the type and the ownership of firm. True, Latin American domestic conglomerates may suffer from the fact that they operate in an uncertain environment, but these problems are small compared to the impediments that local small and medium-sized enterprises face in raising capital, in training their personnel, and in acquiring and developing new technologies.

The purpose of this year's Forum is to discuss:

  • the region's competitive position
  • the obstacles it faces with regard to a more fruitful insertion into the global economy
  • the role of human capital and personnel training in sustaining growth and building comparative advantage
  • the environment in which information and communication technologies are taking hold. In this context, the Forum will particularly focus on the relationship between competitiveness, technology, education and labour training and the factors affecting this relationship, such as the regulatory framework, the institutional environment for innovation, the development of skilled human resources, and strategies for technology deepening and computerisation.

Additional invited experts

  • Adolfo Albo, Chief Economist for Latin America, Research Department, BBVA, Spain
  • Celestino Suárez, Burguet Principal Researcher, Institute of International Economics, Spain
  • José Manuel Campa, Associate Professor of Finance, IESE Business School, Spain
  • Fernando Fernández, Director of Research, Santander Central Hispano Bank, Spain
  • Christian Freres, Co-ordinator, Asociación de Investigación y Especialización sobre Temas Iberoamericanos (AIETI, Association for the Study of Ibero-American Issues), Spain
  • Alicia Garcia Herrero, Head of the International Economics Area, Bank of Spain
  • Pedro Merino, Chief Economist, Repsol-YPF, Spain
  • Alessandro Merli, the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore's correspondent in London
  • Carlos Quenan, Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of Latin American Studies, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle -- Paris III