Message from INTER-AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS NETWORK Chair Pro Tempore 2014
The Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago look forward to welcoming you to Port of Spain in October for the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum which will take place from October 8th – 10th. As Chair Pro Tempore 2013 – 2014 it is a privilege for me to continue to advance the efforts of the RIAC with the support and guidance of the Organisation of American States. I wish to thank and congratulate the Government of the Republic of Panama and their outgoing Chair Pro Tempore 2012 – 2013, Ms. Kristelle Getzler for her commitment and dedication to continuing to implement the 10 General Principles of Competitiveness of the Consensus of Santo Domingo.
The theme for the VIII ACF is The Human Imagination at Work: Driving Competitiveness, Powering Innovation. It recognises that the genesis of competitiveness lies with 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. Exploring this concept further, will expand the innovative capacity of the Americas and open new opportunities for us to share and grow from each other’s experiences.
As RIAC member countries, it is our responsibility to be introspective about our individual needs, counteractive to correct our wrongs and collaborative in finding solutions and charting a new course for our economic development. We look forward to bringing a Caribbean perspective to the forefront through an exchange of ideas and experiences. In the Caribbean, we have many examples of innovation through our music, fashion, literature and tourism. We recognise that in order to increase our resilience, an innovative approach is fundamental. Consequently, we will lead the regional effort to strengthening the development process in the Americas.
Trinidad and Tobago is the place for forging strategic business partnerships, generating trade and investment opportunities across targeted growth sectors as well as creating unique tourist experiences. Our economic transformation demands a new approach to enhancing our competitiveness. Brain power and the creative power of the human imagination are now the drivers of competitive advantage as innovation and talent have become local as well as global assets. It is in this regard, ensuring our sustainability rests largely on our ability to imagine greater economic possibilities.
As host of the VIII ACF, one of Trinidad and Tobago’s legacies will be the creation of an online space that facilitates the continuous sharing of knowledge and information and connecting the technical and political stakeholders of the RIAC between annual meetings. It is by forming these connections that we will lead the regional effort to strengthen the development process in the Americas.
Finally, I extend an invitation to you to attend the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum to be held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago during the period October 8th – 10th 2014.
Trinidad is Nice. Tobago is special. A warm welcome awaits you all.