How ICT Can Drive Growth in Emerging Economies

Rob Atkinson had the honor of giving a keynote presentation at the Fifth Ministerial Conference on the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean in Mexico City on August 6, 2015. Hosted by the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Government of Mexico, the conference was attended by government officials and others involved in information and communications technology (ICT) policy in the region. The focus was on how the region can coordinate more effectively on ICT policy and how Latin American and Caribbean countries can learn from each other. Atkinson writes in Innovation Files that three main things struck him during the conference: there was a distinct focus on trying to create the next Silicon Valley, an emphasis on fostering small businesses, and competing visions of opportunity versus growth. These were not surprises though, Atkinson says, as he has found that many policymakers around the world hold similar views on these topics.