Print

Bogota with one foot firmly on the Digital Economy highway

October 24, 2016

No one would doubt that holding major events generates some kind of dividends for the city; but beyond what Colombia 4.0 may have been generated for it in terms of physical infrastructure and the immediate jobs these events create, there is what remains for the future in terms of the seeds of economic development. 

Colombia 4.0 was attended by over 60,000 people between those who were physically there and those who saw teleconferences to hear the 246 speakers (107 of them international) and who network around cultural industries in the digital environment, the entrepreneurs who participated in the business conferences generated business expectations for USD 43.4 million and USD 641,000 in spot sales. This initiative, which is in line with the Colombia Bring IT On campaign, seeks to internationalize this sector of the economy and convert Colombia and of course Bogota, into a sort of Silicon Valley of this industry. 

Issues that might have previously seemed exotic to our economic condition such as digital animation, online media, digital advertising, web and mobile development, video games and music streaming are now scenarios where Bogota can generate business with local talent and attract foreign investment. 

At Colombia 4.0, the Capital had the chance to receive experts from countries such as Romania, Belgium, Finland, Bulgaria, Hungary, USA, Brazil, Japan and others who now see our Bogota with different eyes - as an opportunity to install large-scale projects with a very attractive cost/benefit ratio. 

"Colombia 4.0 has not only managed to evolve, but has become a stage on which everyone wants to be present. The most important thing is that we reward talent in digital content, software and also the 'makers', which is a new opportunity to continue innovating in the country," said David Luna, the Minister of Information Technologies and Communications recently.

But another issue that must be put on the balance of the event for Bogota is that it was not only attended by entrepreneurs who by nature are very close to the information technologies, but solid companies in traditional economic sectors had the opportunity to imbibe the trends and cutting edge in fields such as innovation. One of the faces, for example, who aroused much admiration in the audience was Ephraim Forero, Davivienda president, who was sharing with the audience how ICT has helped to improve the bank’s services for the customers. 

That's why we get tired of repeating that Bogota wants, can and must become a pole of economic development, as it has always been, but now in the orange economy, in the digital economy that the government is driving through the MinTIC. If the world moves towards horizons of less bricks and more shared and collaborative talent, Bogota cannot be the exception. 

It is not an option for Bogota, the city is duty-bound to insert itself into the global economy with competitive services that are already there from the quality perspective. The Capital has to shed the “world's-best-kept-secret-in-the-digital-economy” label and rub shoulders with cities that are dedicated to this task worldwide. We must dream of Bogota being the most important digital economy cluster in Latin America and attracting more talent and more private investment. We are on the road but have to step on the accelerator. 

By Victor @Solano

Guest Editor