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OAS high level meeting recommends science and innovation to level playing field for small and medium enterprises

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Posted: Thursday, December 9, 2021. 12:40 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: A high level meeting organized by the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Government of Jamaica recommends science, technology and innovation to level the playing field for small and medium enterprises in order to actively participate in the global economy. Representing Belize at this Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Science and Technology, held virtually on December 7 and 8, 2021, was Dr. Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology.

The theme for the meeting was “Harnessing the Power of Transformative Science and Technologies to Drive our Communities Forward,” and the meeting looked at good practices and identified offers for cooperation to help implement hemispheric actions to accelerate the recovery from the pandemic, said a statement from the Government of Belize Press Office.

In sharing Belize’s experiences with supporting Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Minister Zabaneh’s concentrated on “levelling the playing field for active participation in the global economy by MSMEs through STI”. (STI = Science, Technology, and Innovation)

Zabaneh pointed out that Belize “has engaged in several important initiatives to stimulate the transformation necessary to harness the power of science, technology, and innovation, all aimed at the sustainable human development of Belizeans”.

His presentation reviewed three initiatives that directly impacted MSMEs: Belize Investment Summit and the Innovation Pact Manifesto, the National Digital Agenda, and the modernization of Belize’s legal environment.

Minister Zabaneh recognized the support offered to Belize by the Inter-American Development Bank and the OAS. He said he looks forward to “exploring strategic partnerships as an integral part of Belize’s transformational approach to leapfrog sustainable human development for the benefit of the country and region”.

The highest science, technology, and innovation (STI) authorities of the Americas were present at the OAS meeting which was also attended by representatives from the private sector, academia, and civil society.

The statement said the meeting is key for scientific and technological cooperation and remains the principal forum for hemispheric dialogue and the formulation of public policies in science, technology, and innovation in the Americas.

The Sixth Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Science and Technology also reviewed:

· Science and Technology to Build Resiliency in the Framework of Sustainable Development and COVID-19 Recovery

· Youth: Improving Skills and Readiness for Industry 4.0

· Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship to reduce the digital divide and promote the inclusion of women and girls, rural and indigenous communities, and other populations in vulnerable situations

· Effective public-private-academia collaboration to enhance competitiveness and quality of life

· Levelling the playfield for active participation in the global economy by micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through STI

· Technology Foresight as Input for Public Policy Decisions (Prospecta Americas)

· Science for Decision Making

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