Remarks by Ambassador William H. Duncan at the Forum on “Promoting Innovation and Economic Growth”

May 9, 2023

* This is a courtesy translation. Only the original Spanish version should be considered authoritative.

It is evident that today we cannot think of prosperity without taking into account the role of the digital economy. The pandemic has fueled the adoption of digital technologies around the world, and as a result we have changed the way we do business. We are experiencing a new wave of data-driven innovation that has the potential to improve living standards and address critical public health, safety, and environmental challenges.

Car manufacturers, banks, airlines, hospitals, and supermarket chains, for example, rely on data for their operations, including to manage their supply chains. Even startups and small businesses are taking advantage of cross-border data flows to use information in new ways, allowing them to access global markets.

The topics of this event not only affect large technology companies, but are also increasingly relevant to traditional industries and small and medium-sized companies.

However, El Salvador has to prepare to take advantage of this wave of transformation and innovation. Wi-Fi will be essential in expanding broadband connectivity to underserved populations and will be an enabler for new applications and use cases such as the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced manufacturing, augmented and virtual reality, digital health, and many other innovations. future. By investing in WiFi 6 and next-generation connectivity, we can close the digital divide, ensuring that all citizens have equal access to the opportunities that the digital economy brings.

Of course, innovative technologies not only bring new opportunities, but also new challenges. The digital foundations of the modern economy must be open, trusted, interoperable, trustworthy, and secure. That requires working with a wide range of partners to promote network infrastructure resiliency in 5G and other advanced communication technologies, including by promoting supplier diversity and supply chain security.

  5G is transformative and will touch every aspect of our lives, including critical infrastructure like transportation, power distribution, healthcare, and many more sectors. Therefore, the stakes to secure these networks could not be higher.

This means that the crucial issue of cybersecurity needs to be addressed. To navigate this complex landscape, a risk-based approach to cybersecurity is essential. Collaboration between governments and industries will make it possible to identify and mitigate potential threats effectively. By working together, strong cybersecurity frameworks can be established that safeguard critical infrastructure, protect sensitive information, and ensure the uninterrupted operation of the digital ecosystem.

The opportunities that arise from government collaboration with industry are vast and transformative. By promoting policies that facilitate cross-border data flows, investment in WiFi 6 and the next generation. As a government partner, we stand ready to further our collaboration in this area and bring experts from the US government and the private sector to the table.

Thank you.