MIALC Seminar: Progressing Towards the Industrial Mapping of Latin America & the Caribbean

Entrepreneurs, scholars and representatives of the public service participated in the technical seminar organised on the 30th of September in Madrid by the EU-LAC Foundation and Fundación Observatorio Pyme for the presentation and assessment of the MIALC Project - Industrial Maps of Latin America and the Caribbean, which the EU-LAC Foundation promotes since 2013 through its Venture Programme.

The EU-LAC Foundation's president, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, accompanied by Ambassador Fidel López Álvarez, from the Secretariat of State for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighted, in her welcome remarks, the importance of the MIALC project, as this project will, for the first time, allow to visualize the structural changes that are currently taking place in the Latin American and Caribbean industrial scene through the same lens and thus conduct a mapping of the economic activity according to the territory-sector distribution.

“With the MIALC, as with any other project of ours, we have sought to fill a gap and, at the same time to provide a new perspective. Filling a gap because up until now nobody has conducted a similar sector conglomeration mapping of Latin-America based on homogeneous statistical data” and a new perspective because “the question of industrial conglomeration mapping is not a minor issue”, Ferrero-Waldner said.

She highlighted that the highest level research teams are already working on that field and in that regard mentioned the team led by the founder of the notion of industrial clusters, Michael Porter as an example, who, in collaboration with Harvard Business School, is proceeding with the mapping of the clusters in the United States.

“Having a similar tool for Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union acquires great significance” Ferrero-Waldner pointed out in relation to the MIALC project, which methodologically settles down a three-dimensional interactive system, as its main developers, the director of the Observatorio Pyme Foundation, Vicente Donato, and professor Christian Haedo from the Argentinian seat of the University of Bologna would afterwards explain in detail.

Currently, uniform and certified information managed by the MIALC project encompasses nine countries and 10,000 micro-territories, which not only permits to sketch an industrial geography of the aforementioned countries but also to design or rather redesign cross-border or bi-regional public policies and industrial strategies which are more effective and more backed-up by investments and competitiveness.

To do this, Ferrero-Waldner underlined that MIALC must grow towards more ambitious objectives, and thus encouraged the participants and potential users to guarantee the sustainable conditions and the project's evolution.

“We find it particularly desirable for the maps to cover the highest number of countries and to gradually provide a deeper knowledge about the territorial dynamics. To sum up, more functions and indicators, such as the geo-location of enterprises” the president pointed out.

Representatives of European bodies and experts coming from Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Chile, Italy and Peru attended the seminar, held at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) seat in Madrid.