John Ward is a writer in the Office of Public Affairs.
On October 5, 2011, the competitiveness and innovation authorities of more than 30 Western Hemisphere countries gathered in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to attend the 2011 annual meeting of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC). There, they approved the Santo Domingo Consensus, which sets forth 10 objectives that are designed to promote progress toward a more competitive and prosperous region. Here are portions of the text that describe each of the 10 objectives:
- Education: “Promote high-quality, pertinent and timely education as a key element to enhance the competitiveness, good values, and attitudes, and the development of our countries.”
- Public-private engagement: “Foster the establishment of effective institutions responsible for promoting competitiveness with direct private-sector involvement and other relevant actors, including existing entities, and Public-Private Partnerships to address short and long-term competitiveness issues.”
- Transparency and rule of law: “Promote a simpler, more stable, and efficient institutional and regulatory framework for business and investment, by increasing transparency in government, the rule of law, promoting competition in our markets, and ethical conduct in the interactions between the public and private sector[s]Human Capital:.”
- Human capital: “Prioritize the development of human capital and promote continuous on-the-job training and the acquisition of new competencies to develop world-class skills for the human capital and productivity of our countries.”
- Infrastructure: “Foster the development of a modern, efficient, well-maintained infrastructure—between and within countries—and foster the rapid adoption of new technologies by economies, including information technology and communications.”
- Innovation: “Position innovation and high-impact entrepreneurship as a determining factor for competitiveness, through greater public and private investment in research and development, the interaction with academia, and the adoption of innovation-enabling policies and strategies, including the protections of the rights of intellectual property holders in the framework of our development policies.”
- Access to capital: “Improve access to capital for economic actors, especially MSMEs [micro, small and medium-sized enterprises] and entrepreneurs, and promote public-private mechanisms to increase financial inclusion.”
- Corporate social responsibility: “Foster equity, inclusion, social entrepreneurship, the adoption and application of corporate social responsibility principles, sustainability, shared value, and gender equity as fundamental elements to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of our region.”
- Trade liberalization: “Promote trade and integration, trade liberalization, to diversify our economies with high value-added and quality products and services, fostering the internationalization and participation in global value chains, and, improve the competitiveness and productivity of industry, giving special priority to our MSMEs.”
- Energy efficiency: “Promote energy efficiency and development in the context of our efforts to foster environmental, social and economic sustainability, including the vision to become low carbon economies.”
To see the full text of the Santo Domingo Consensus, go to www.competitivenessforum.org.