Facing the Fourth Industrial Revolution

MEXICO CITY – The current era of innovation, in which cutting-edge technologies are disrupting entire economic sectors at a breathtaking rate, has been called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is also the theme of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland – and rightly so. In the coming years, the scope and pace of innovation will transform how we produce, distribute, and consume. To maximize the benefits, we must take steps now to prepare our economies and societies, with a focus on three key areas: education, the business environment, and connectivity.

Human capital is vital to an economy’s success, and Mexico is no exception. That is why my government is focusing so heavily on improving education at all levels.

For example, we recently launched “Education Infrastructure Notes,” private investment vehicles that will allow us to channel roughly $3 billion to improve elementary-school facilities within the next three years. In addition, during the current school year, we have delivered tablet computers to almost half of Mexico’s 2.3 million fifth-graders.

We are also working to ensure that current and future generations gain the skills they will need to thrive in an evolving labor market. Last year, more than 110,000 students in Mexico earned degrees in areas such as engineering, manufacturing, and construction – a higher figure than in some of the most developed countries, including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.