Investing in innovation is key for Peru to maintain its economic growth and continue to be the most attractive economy in South America. That was the main conclusion of the roundtable recently organised by the global research and consultancy company, Oxford Business Group (OBG).
The presentation of the new economic report, The Report: Peru 2017, gathered more than 100 CEOs, chief executives and other C-Level executives from the public and the private spheres who analysed the challenges and opportunities to develop investment in Peru, in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the country.
Gonzalo Villaran, Director-General of innovation at the Ministry of Production, highlighted during his intervention that “thanks to the exponential development of technology, Peru is starting to reach the same productivity levels as it had before 1980.”
Villaran also stated that “the private sector must invest as much as the public one in innovation so that it eventually leads the investment in innovation. In order to do that, it must first overcome the difficulties to access financing, the high costs and the lack of skilled human capital, which stand in the way of investing.”
Paulo Pantigoso, Country Managing Partner, EY Peru, affirmed that “in order to tackle the uncertainty and the risks associated with investing in innovation, we need to promote favourable measures for those who innovate. For example, instead of only one window to pay taxes, establish several; reduce taxes for entrepreneurs; and provide incentives for the mining sector to invest in new machinery.”
Miguel Uccelli, CEO and Country Head of Scotiabank Peru, stated that “banks must focus on making their processes more efficient. The banking sector faces the challenge of increasing the levels of bank usage and digital transactions. From the 10 million transactions registered by Scotiabank every month, only 7% of them are digital,” he highlighted.
During the presentation, OBG carried out a live survey to measure the current state of innovation in Peru and the prospects of the private sector. The results show that 34% of the entrepreneurs only invest 0.5% of their annual budget in innovation. However, 37% considers possible that their company will invest more during the next 12 months. According to the results of the analysis, among the main challenges that companies must face when innovating are the lack of human capital and the unclear regulatory framework. 91% of the participants think that actions and programmes for innovation should be integrated within an organism where the government, the private companies and the universities could be gathered.
According to Giovanna Cortez, Territory Manager at Microsoft Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, “the public and private sectors should invest in business incubators. In order to develop themselves, both sectors must join together, without this alliance it is difficult for innovation to develop in Peru.”
Luis Rivera, Vice-President at Gold Fields Las Americas, said that “innovation should also be implemented to the management of communities. It is not enough just for the mining companies to carry out construction works for the communities where they operate, instead, these communities should take part in the projects, this way all parts involved would benefit from a sustainable development.”
Jaime Perez-Seoane, Americas Regional Editor, Oxford Business Group, concluded that “though it must be interpreted with some caution, 2017 is going to give ground for optimism. Commodities have again acceptable levels, and even though volatility still represents a challenge, globalisation is still a tendency, therefore, now more than ever, we call upon Peru to work towards diversification. It is precisely in this context where innovation plays a key role.”