MEXICO CITY, 7 November 2018 – The Industrial Development Report 2018 (IDR 2018), which focuses on the importance of demand as a driver of industrial development, was presented today as part of the International Seminar LALICS 2018 at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) in Mexico City.
The Seminar on the challenges of science, technology and innovation for solving national problems in Latin America and the Caribbean was organized by the Latin American Network on Learning, Innovation and Competence Building (LALICS).
Fernando Santiago, UNIDO Research and Industrial Policy Officer, opened the side-event with a presentation of the main messages of IDR 2018; drawing some key findings relevant to Mexico and the Latin America region.
“Demand and productivity are two fundamental forces for structural change, yet economists often tend to forget the study of demand,” said Frederico Rocha, Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, during the panel discussion.
Drawing from the work of prominent Latin American scholars, Rocha noted that the region’s path to industrialization focuses on process innovation, while learning and capability accumulation for product innovation has been more limited. As a result, the region has found itself trapped in a pattern of low income elasticity growth, and frequent risk of external trade imbalances, said Rocha.
Rocha called for reflection on how to promote product innovation in homogeneous products industries, and welcomed suggestions on how Latin American governments can help foster innovation, among others through public procurement and by focusing on the specialization in natural resources-based industries. He particularly welcomed the suggestion that public procurement be used to foster demand as it is an instrument that “allows interaction between the public and the private sector, in ways that favour intense knowledge exchanges between the two agents.”
The event was moderated by Gabriela Dutrenit, President of the Scientific Board of LALICS and Professor at the UAM, who highlighted the importance of innovation to underpin industrial development in the region.
The event was broadcasted live, the recording can be found here.
For more information, please contact:
Research and Industrial Policy Officer
UNIDO Research and Industrial Policy Advice Division