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The 2017 Latin American Communications Congress has begun, the key meeting of the regional digital ecosystem

Leading ministers, regulatory authorities, CEOs and executives of the ICT industry in Latin America will participate in the CLT 2017, a gathering of four intense days of conferences, seminars and meetings. The event is organized by the ITU, CAF, ASIET and GSMA from 20th to 23rd of June in Cartagena de Indias with the support of the MinTIC and the Communications Regulatory Commission of Colombia.

Cartagena, June 20th/ 2017. More than 450 digital ecosystem leaders and experts representing 30 countries will participate – starting today and until Friday 23 June – in the Latin American Communications Congress 2017 (CLT 2017) in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. “As ICT Minister of the host country, I will have the opportunity to share with you our vision and strategy to forge the digital economy. The progress that we have made in its implementation and the challenges ahead”, stated David Luna, ICT Ministry of Colombia, at the opening of the regional meeting. The leading academics and regional experts, CEOs and senior executives of mobile operators and internet companies will be debating the future of Latin American digital development at the CLT 2017 along with the top government authorities of the ICT sector of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Costa Rica.

“In the year of the World Telecommunication Development Conference organized by the ITU in Buenos Aires from October 9th to 20th, we invite all stakeholders to debate at the CLT 2017 on the impact of ICTs on the economic and social development of the region and of the world. The pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals requires access to networks and digitalization of efficient and inclusive processes. We hope that the exchange of ideas at the Congress nourishes public policies that drive and expedite the achievement of said objectives”, said Bruno Ramos, Director of the Regional Office for the Americas from the ITU.

Sebastián Cabello, Director General of the GSMA for Latin America highlighted: “The mobile ecosystem contributes more than 5% of the Latin American GDP and generates 1.8 millions of jobs. The digitalization of production, in particular in the PYMES (Small and medium enterprises), will be fundamental for the region to take a step forward in the productivity and in penetrating digital economy beyond consumption. To promote investment in industry, it will be necessary to rethink its regulatory framework making it more flexible and ex post in order to promote innovation. The CLT is undoubtedly the best arena for all players of the sector to discuss these topics and advance towards a common agenda that allows maximizing the socio-economic benefits of this revolution for the entire region”.

Pablo Bello, Executive Director of ASIET, stated, “the economic and social progress of Latin America depends critically on the intensive incorporation of information technologies into productive processes and on closing the digital gap. This requires large investments in telecommunications networks, which will only be viable if public policies and regulatory frameworks adjust to the paradigm shift of technological convergence in favor of a balanced development of the digital ecosystem”.

Carolina España, Director and Representative in Colombia of CAF-Latin American Development Bank deems that “Despite the significant progress recorded in Latin America and the Caribbean in the past ten years, the region must prepare itself to build a digital ecosystem comparable to that in developed countries. To that end, it is necessary to significantly increase the digital services infrastructure investment levels. The capital investment rate in telecommunications in the region is only 30% of that of the countries in North America and 50% of that of European countries. This situation affects the region’s capability to deploy next generation networks and Support the new services of the digital economy”.

“This Congress represents for the CRC a great opportunity to enrich knowledge and to share the experience acquired in the work that we have been carrying out to assume the challenge of the Digital Economy in Colombia, an important local topic which is at the same time a challenge for Latin America. Growing as a region is one of the purposes of this event and we will achieve it “, indicated Germán Darío Arias Pimienta, Executive Director of the CRC.

Among the Ministries and regulatory authorities from the ICT sector participating at the CLT 2017, we have:

  • Colombia – David Luna, ICT Minister of Colombia, Germán Darío Arias, Executive Director of the CRC, and Martha Suárez, Managing Director of the ANE.
  • Argentina – Héctor Huici, ICT Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Miguel de Godoy, President of the ENACOM.
    Chile – Rodrigo Ramírez, Deputy Secretary of SUBTEL.
    Brasil – Juárez Quadros, President of ANATEL, Maximiliano Martinhão, Secretary of IT Policy, and André Müller Borges, Telecommunications Secretary of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications.
    México – Gabriel Contreras, Commissioner Chairman from the Federal Institute of Telecommunications
    Costa Rica – Gilbert Camacho, Chairman of the Board of SUTEL

Today and tomorrow Wednesday 21, the CLT 2017 Plenary Session will be held with the main players of the mobile ecosystem in various discussion panels on: Public policy recommendations to attract investment in Latin America; The role of the State in Digital Economy; Regulatory framework model for convergence; Public policies for the development of telecommunications and challenges of Digital Development in Latin America; and contribution of the mobile industry to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, among other topics.

The four-day agenda of the regional meeting includes also a series of parallel seminars and meetings that will complete an intense week of activities for the regional ICT industry:

  • Workshop CRC – Strategy to promote digital economy in Colombia (Tuesday 20 – 9:00)
    Workshop Communications and Transport Secretariat (SCT) of México – Broadband for all in México: Projects to promote universal access (Thursday 22 – 9:00)
    Workshop CAF – Education for the 21st century: Education, Connectivity and “Technification” in the Education System (Thursday 22 – 11:00)
    Workshop GSMA – Redefining the regulatory frameworks for digital inclusion (Thursday 22 – 14:00)
    CPR LATAM Meeting: Research centers academic network, which seeks to expand the knowledge on the socio-economic and political impact of ICTs (Thursday 22 and Friday 23)

Other players of the digital ecosystem present at the CLT 2017 are: Oscar León, Executive Secretary of CITEL; Marcelo Cataldo, CEO TIGO Colombia; Trinidad Jiménez, Public Affairs Global Strategy Director of Telefónica; Karim Lesina, Vice-president for International Affairs of AT&T; Carlos López Blanco, Managing Director of Public and Regulatory Affairs of Telefónica; Juan Carlos Archila, International Relations Director, América Móvil; Robert Pepper, Global Connectivity and Technology Policy from Facebook; José María Lassalle, Secretary of State for the Information Society and Digital Agenda of Spain; Walker San Miguel, Secretary General of the CAN; Ana Lucía Lenis, Government Affairs Manager of Google; Kevin Martin, Vice-president of Mobiles and Global Access Policies of Facebook; and José del Castillo, President of Comtelca.

The CLT 2017 is organized by the International Telecommunications Union of the United Nations (ITU), the CAF – i.e. the Latin American Development Bank, by GSMA, ASIET – and Colombia’s CRC, with the backing of Colombia’s ICT Ministry (Min TIC), the National TV Authority (ANTV), Colombia’s National Spectrum Agency (ANE) and the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC). The Congress has the support of the Latin America & Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC), Internet Society (ISOC) and that of the “Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers” (ICANN).

For more Información and in order to register, please visit the official web page of the gathering at

Further information at: #CLT17
Twitter of the organizers: @ITU @AgendaCAF @asiet_lat @GSMALatam @CRCCol
Location: Centro de Convenciones, Hotel las Américas. Cartagena, Colombia.