Colombian President Ivan Duque was present in Cartagena today to give the opening address to ANDICOM, Colombia’s largest and most important ICT (Information & Communications Technology) event. Duque announced the creation of an entrepreneurial ecosystem initiative led by Innpulsa, with the goal of making Colombia the Silicon Valley of Latin America. Duque also announced an initiative to combat cybercrime in the country. Innpulsa is a government organization established in 2012 to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Colombia.
Manuel Martinez, executive director of CINTEL, the government entity responsible for organizing Andicom, called on Colombia and the global ICT industry to apply technology to reduce pollution, climate change, and other adverse effects on the environment. Distinguished guests in attendance included Manuel Martínez, Executive Director of CINTEL; the ICT minister, Silvia Constaín; Víctor Muñoz, Presidential Advisor for Innovation and Digital Transformation of Colombia; Dong Wei, Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Colombia; Wang Xinzhe, Chief Economist, of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, of the People’s Republic of China; and Sergio Scarabino, Representative for South America of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Martínez Niño, Executive Director of CINTEL welcomed the nearly 3,000 ANDICOM attendees, where he called on the ICT industry to find solutions that improve the environment, and to develop applications that allow control, monitoring and prevention of natural disasters. He also emphasized the development of human talent, which is a key ingredient in the fourth industrial revolution. “We are here to build, to raise awareness that information and communication technologies are the maximum tool to generate competitiveness and well-being for the citizen. This is a stadium for all of us to play and generate spaces for networking, creativity and opportunities to move forward,” said Martínez.
Sergio Scarabino, of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), stressed the importance of technology to maximize opportunities for everyone. “If we forget the disconnected, the gap will widen exponentially,” he said. He also praised the Colombian government and CINTEL for actively promoting ICT in all sectors.
ANDICOM’s Guest of Honor Country for this year is the People’s Republic of China. In his welcome speech, Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Colombia, Dong Wei, emphasized the relations between Colombia and China, as shown by Colombian President Ivan Duque’s recent visit to China. Counselor Dong said he is confident that during ANDICOM there will be important commercial progress between Chinese companies and their counterparts in Colombia.
Duque urged industry leaders to be partners in the “Orange Economy” ICT sector, which represents 1.8% of national GDP, almost as large as mining, and even larger than Colombia’s agriculture sector. “We need investment, and the role of the government is to facilitate the path for entrepreneurs to present themselves in tenders in other countries,” said Duque.