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Seminar on technological innovation and competitiveness opens on March 29 a series of events in Brazil prior to IDB’s 47th Annual Meeting

A series of events sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank will take place in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, beginning March 29 with a seminar on technological innovation and competitiveness, prior to the plenary sessions of the 47th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IDB and 21st  Meeting of the Inter-American Investment Corporation to be held April 3-5.

The first seminar will bring together Latin America and Caribbean and international policy makers and experts to exchange views and propose recommendations on issues such as how to promote innovation as a priority development policy in the region, how to strengthen capabilities to design, implement and evaluate policies for the development of national innovation systems oriented towards fostering competitiveness; and how to design an agenda to achieve these goals.

Policy discussions will focus on the role of clusters – groups of projects in specific areas that will be developed, supported and reviewed together – for local development; strategies for the development of information societies; and the contributions of innovation for productive development. Special emphasis will be placed on how to strengthen innovation-related institutions in the region to create a platform for competitiveness.

Topics of other seminars will include competitiveness, youth, remittances and microfinance, clean energy, programs for the conditional transfer of resources, debt policies and instruments, the business climate for private investment in infrastructure and disaster risk management.

On March 30 the program includes:

  • A seminar that will showcase experiences of Brazil and international organizations to promote youth development in the areas of employment, participation and volunteerism. The activity will continue with a youth volunteer service event in Vila Senor Dos Passos the following day.
  • A seminar on remittances and microfinance and their importance in the region and in Brazil.
  • A session on Amazonia.

On March 30 and 31, sessions will take place on Latin American financing and the role of development banks, with the participation of two Nobel Prize laureates, professors Douglass North and Joseph Stiglitz. The concept of the “Washington Consensus” and its implications for the region will be analyzed.

Also on March 31 two other seminars will be held on:

On April 1 three activities will take place:

Seminar on April 2:

Seminar on April 3:

Seminar on April 4:

The event in Belo Horizonte, capital of the State of Minas Gerais, will be the fourth IDB Annual Meeting held in Brazil, one of the institution’s founding members that played a key role in the creation of the oldest and largest regional development bank that is now the main source of multilateral development financing in Latin America and the Caribbean.      

Concurrently with the meeting of the IDB governors, the Inter-American Investment Corporation, a member of the IDB group that supports small and medium-sized businesses with loans and investments holds its own Annual Meeting. All the seminars will take place at the Expominas Convention Center.

The Annual Meeting is the most important yearly event for the two institutions. On plenary sessions, the governors of the IDB and IIC will review April 3-5 its activities and the Annual Report, and they will also discuss and set new policies and programs for the future.

IDB loans to the region totaled $7 billion during 2005, an increase of 17 percent compared with the previous year. Almost 50 percent of the loans were dedicated to programs to reduce poverty and enhance social equity, exceeding the target. The Bank approved $83 million for technical cooperation projects, while the IIC during 2005 approved a record level of financing that totaled $342 million.

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