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ECLAC asks to promote science and technology to strengthen economic recovery

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The executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, insisted this Monday that Latin American governments must bet on science and technology to prop up the economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.

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At the opening of the third meeting of the ECLAC Conference on Science, Innovation and Information and Communication Technologies (CCITIC), organized jointly between the organization and the Argentine Government, Bárcena stressed the need to change the “paradigm development ”of the economies of the region.

“Countries say ‘we are going to grow like never before’ (in 2021) and yes, on average the region is going to grow 6%, but next year there will come a tremendous slowdown that will take us to 2% again . The great paradox is that it is not genuine growth, it is not growth based on science, technology and greater productivity, “said the official during her opening speech.

“We have to change this development paradigm, to go from this extractivist model to a sustainable production model, where, above all, the redistribution of knowledge is addressed. The concentration of technology and knowledge today is in the hands of very few companies, and in this case it is regrettable ”, he added.

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In this sense, Bárcena stated that Latin America and the Caribbean “have capacities” to develop new technologies, giving as an example the development of vaccines or the decarbonization of the economy, challenges that should not be addressed country by country, but by region as a whole.

“Our productive industry does not demand science and technology, so we have to create that virtuous circle: greater productivity, greater science and greater technology give us skills to companies, more salary and allows us to create more knowledge,” said the head of ECLAC, who He also called for coordinating regulatory schemes between the different countries.

For his part, the Argentine Foreign Minister, Santiago Cafiero, pointed out that the knowledge economy is the “sector with the greatest potential” for the future, since it acts as a generator of employment, expands the export capacity of the countries and “directly impacts” on the quality of life of citizens.

“Together with all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, we will continue to be committed to designing policies that help reduce gaps and we will do so with unions, companies and research organizations,” concluded Cafiero in his speech.

In this third meeting of the CCITIC, which will last until Wednesday, representatives of international organizations, academia and the private sector will seek to define a regional work agenda on science, technology and innovation for the next two years.

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