Friday, January 23, 2015



IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


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World Economic Forum (WEF)




[full-text, 41 pages]


Press Release 23 January 2015

Closing Latin America’s Competitiveness Gap through Skills and Innovation


·         Latin America has an urgent need to boost its productivity to sustain and enhance competitiveness

·         Report responds to concerns about skills mismatch and low innovation in the context of declining commodity prices, global economic slowdown

·         Recommends a systemic and collaborative approach to address skills and innovation challenges

·         Download the full report here:

Davos-Klosters, 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:

1.    Continue to strengthen framework conditions to enable skills and innovation investments to thrive

2.    Enhance institutional capacity to evaluate, monitor, and manage policy design and implementation

3.    Align investments to critical economic and social needs with pre-defined milestones and exit strategies

4.    Boost private investment in innovation through traditional and alternative financing vehicles

5.    Create a standardized, regional catalogue of research competencies

6.    Design public-private research and skills development funding schemes

7.    Define and implement cross-sectorial vocational education and training programmes

8.    Establish a regional multi-annual research and innovation fund

9.    Enable a freer flow and exchange of students and researchers in the region

10.  Employ a flexible implementation approach via small scale pilots and an opt-in strategy

The 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.




This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.










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