In an interview, McKinsey & Company Senior Partner, Olivia White, spoke with El Comercio within the framework of CADE Executives 2023 and emphasized the transformations that should be undertaken in the region under the new global context. Likewise, she considered that the participation of the public sector is relevant for the development of the countries.

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– What were the main ideas of your presentation?

In many ways it seems that we are on the cusp of a new era… A world in which the rules of how it operates and how businesses are run will be different compared to the last 30 years of globalization. I spoke, in some way, of the uniformly global world where capitalism was the main engine. Likewise, I talked about the world economic order, geopolitics, connections, the role that technology and perhaps Generative Artificial Intelligence would play. About demographics, about the fact that populations are aging and Latin America has a relatively young population. Peru has a relatively young population that is now beginning to age.

– What are the most important changes that need to be implemented in Latin America?

The first thing I will give you as a high-level answer is: be aware of what changes can be like and accept them. In addition to thinking about uncertainties and being prepared to be agile and take action. Other things are really important in the world we’re heading into. Technology will become increasingly important and Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) and the excitement around it is very promising. It’s a reminder of how important it is to think about innovation. For that to really take root and be useful for an economy at the deep level of productivity, education is extremely important. It is also of great importance for companies to think about how to really integrate new technologies into their processes and their way of doing business in order to take advantage of them. And all this requires investment.

“The commitment to spend money today for the sake of results. And it is very clear that companies that invest money in R&D and countries that invest money in R&D and innovation reap benefits over time”

– Should the effort be only from private companies or should the public sector also join in?

The public sector plays a very important role. And in a sense, it establishes the fabric in which all of this happens. And for certain things, like education, it is very difficult – or perhaps impossible – to have a successful education system without the government playing a key role. It is also essential to allow the private sector to do its thing.

– In general, with respect to Latin America, do you see conviction in the move towards these new trends that are important for our countries?

I feel optimistic. But of course, it’s not something that’s going to happen just by sitting back and watching. It will take truly concerted action and some changes.

– Beyond the region, what are your reflections on what is happening globally?

Many people have talked about whether globalization is dead. I don’t think it’s the right question. What we have to ask ourselves is what kind of global connections and global cooperations we will need to move forward in the future, in a world that could be a bit multipolar. Let countries and companies look at that new world and make sure they have the means to maintain relationships with everyone, but in a way that adapts to what may be a more conflictive place. That’s really important. Something that unifies this point about technology… In the last 10 years or so, trade or flows of data and intellectual property have grown much, much faster than trade in goods. So we are entering a world where the connections between countries are often knowledge, experience, data and intellectual property. So countries that want to continue playing a relevant role must make sure, returning to your question about technology, that they have something to say and develop in the area of ​​ideas and innovation.

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