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2014 - SIGNS OF COMPETITIVENESS IN THE AMERICAS  /  Message from Trinidad and Tobago RIAC Chair Pro Tempore 2014

Message from Trinidad and Tobago RIAC Chair Pro Tempore 2014

Message from Trinidad and Tobago RIAC Chair Pro Tempore 2014
As Chair Pro Tempore 2014 of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network, I thank you for the support extended to the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in working towards the compilation of experiences for this year’s Report. I am pleased that the decision to produce such a Report was approved for a third year. I am sure that when you look through the Report, you will agree that it was a good decision.

The policy objectives identified and agreed to provide an opportunity through future ACFs to continue to realign our competitiveness strategies. The framework of the 10 General Competitiveness Principles and the priorities identified by member countries in Santo Domingo also present significant opportunities for collaboration and learning across national boundaries and through our hemispheric institutions on an ongoing basis.

The experiences shared and built upon from RIAC member countries, supporting institutions and partners as well as those of specially invited contributors attest to the significant intellectual and creative inputs and present opportunities for collaboration that can bring our countries closer together. Our individual strengths as nations must be recognized as positive anchors as we advance the competitiveness agenda for the region. For all countries in the Americas, and in the world, innovation is fundamental to promote higher economic growth and better quality of life. It is a critical component to improve productivity and improve the economic performance of enterprises and countries but also to address economic inclusion and equity.

It is with this understanding that this year’s theme builds on the objectives identified in the Consensus of Santo Domingo, while recognising that the roots of competitiveness lie in fostering and exploiting the human imagination to drive our competitive advantage. The human imagination therefore needs to be stimulated and nurtured in order to build competitive capacity as it is a pre-requisite for innovation. In the thrust to put people at the centre of development, the human imagination and the creative process needs to be recognised as the conceptual capacity that precedes acts of innovation and creation.

Given the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship, articles from the RIAC Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship specifically convened for the purposes of documenting ideas focused on innovation and entrepreneurship within the Americas are featured in this Report. They provide policy recommendations for the public sector as well as initiatives that could be private sector driven.

The theme for this ACF 2014 is the Human Imagination at Work: Driving Competitiveness Powering Innovation; it was not chosen lightly. Two years ago, we took a decision to emphasize the human factor in innovation and agreed that the human imagination was indispensable to the innovation process. Trinidad and Tobago reaffirms its commitment to expanding the competitiveness and innovation dialogue within the Hemisphere and looks intently toward the creation of an innovation-driven future for the Americas. We remain confident that through Guatemala’s leadership for next year’s Forum we will have the opportunity to progressively enhance the content of next year’s Report and we stand ready to lend our support to this initiative.

Senator, Dr. the Honourable Bhoendradatt Tewarie
Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development
Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago