Concytec head calls on gov’t to create a ministry of science and technology

The head of the national council for science, technology and IT innovation Concytec called on Peru’s government to create a ministry of science and technology in order to maintain its competitiveness, state news agency Andina reported.

Augusto Mellado said the ministry would help Peru break its dependence on exporting raw materials.

“This step is needed to continue with the creation and support for technology in order to not depend only on raw material exports,” Mellado said. “The best way to improve the living conditions of our compatriots is to export products with added value.”

Peruvian exports are driven by primary goods, particularly from the country’s mining sector. Mineral exports routinely account for about 60 percent of the country’s total exports.

Peru has made important advances in technological innovation, according to Mellado. He pointed to advances in biotechnology, IT and communications, among others.

The importance of developing a strong science and technology sector was highlighted during a conference in Lima on May 18 by Kishore Mahbubani, a professor in public policy at the National University of Singapore.

Investments in science and technology are necessary to achieve long term economic growth, Mahbubani argued. He added that Asia had reached its economic growth levels thanks partially to investing $390 billion in science and technology in 2008, compared to $250 billion from European countries.

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