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Microsoft Word crm-ptmt el Salvador 2009[final]. doc

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Regional Conference on Migration

 

 

77

opportunities, and possibilities for innovation. For these reasons, a growing demand for Latin 

American talent has been observed in the United States, and living conditions and the purchasing 

power of Latin Americans living in the US have rapidly improved as well, despite various physical, 

administrative, and normative restrictions that have recently been implemented. 

However, it should be noted that the level of education – especially basic education – in Latin 

America does not comply with global standards at present. Since education is an indispensable tool to 

foster development and competitiveness, objectives of education strategies need to go far beyond a 

mere reduction of illiteracy. Technology knowledge and language proficiency – from English as 

lingua franca to, perhaps, Mandarin Chinese – need to be incorporated into education as well. 

While this reality is becoming more and more accepted throughout Latin America, the 

progress to date is insufficient and therefore, the capacity of Latin America to take advantage of the 

potential of its talent has been limited. In addition, the alignment of competitive education with the 

need for productive investment calls for a change in the traditional thinking of various actors. 

Academia, for example, is becoming increasingly aware of the degree to which individuals and private 

enterprises are the clients that education should serve. Private enterprises, in turn, should rely more on 

academia as a source of competitiveness, in a new dynamic of information sharing and interaction 

oriented toward innovation. At the same time, Latin American governments should identify 

mechanisms to understand both the needs of the private sector and academia and thus, establish 

effective and comprehensive links between them. 

Linkages between academia, private enterprises, and the government are essential in order to 

better serve individual talent and meet the needs of a globalized society that is subject to more 

pressure in terms of competitiveness. In most cases, this should be translated into adjusting education 

and training curricula to the needs of the current and future labor market. In addition, the global 

competition for talent will continue manifesting through a growing interest of North American and 

European universities in attracting international students, thus increasing the pressure for Latin 

American education systems. Enterprises and universities in the Latin American region will feel 

pressured by global competition and will seek to reach world class quality standards. 

Social bonds that allow establishing “social networks” or transnational communities as 

bridges for an increasing movement of talent are another phenomenon of undeniable importance. The 

networks will continue to facilitate the movement of persons across borders, providing them with a 

support which facilitates integration into the community and workforce in the country of destination. 

These types of communities or social networks, with strong links both in countries of origin and 

destination, will become more and more organized and powerful in terms of culture, economics, and 

even politics. The increasing movement of persons, together with the intensification of transnational 

social networks, will gain momentum through its own inertia. 

These factors will constitute a growing opportunity for Latin America, which is characterized 

by maintaining strong social linkages. In this sense, the lasting and active links of Latin American 

talent around the world with their communities of origin will generate increasingly visible and 

relevant business opportunities, creating market niches both in receiving communities and in 

communities of origin. Therefore, knowledge networks of the diasporas are being increasingly 

considered by enterprises, governments, and education institutions due to their significant potential in 

attracting global talent to the region and transferring knowledge (transfer of know-how) and skills. 

Undoubtedly, the power of transnational networks is becoming stronger each day at all levels. 

The role of the technology revolution in enabling and accelerating these trends should also be 

highlighted. Access to instant communications and efficient means of transportation is rapidly 

becoming universal: in the coming decade, telecommunications and advances in commercial air travel 

– which are driving forces of economic integration and movement of persons – will reach virtually all 

socio-economic segments in Latin America. In recent years, the number of Internet users in the region 

has grown at a vertiginous speed. However, the level of penetration continues to be lower than in other 

regions of the world. 



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