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Carlos Slim One-On-One

Friday, 25 Jun 2010 | 12:51 PM ET
Carlos Slim
Alfredo Estrella | AFP | Getty Images
Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim, Chairman of the Carlos Slim Foundation the man who's #1 on Forbes Magazine's World’s Billionaire listwith a net worth of $53.5 billion as of March 10th, 2010.

Maria Bartiromo recently sat down with the world’s richest man at the New York Forum.

Let’s find out how Slim sees the world.

What Is The World Facing?

In Slim’s world, the world is facing two main issues. “We're still living the exuberance rationale from the '90s,” said Slim. As the economy grows there are more financial variables. Take all the variables into account coupled with new technologies available out there our world is very different today. Slim said, “We're living a new civilization.” With those technologies, there are new paradigms. However, Slim believes that some developed countries have not followed these standards.

Penetrating Through Mobile Market

When it comes to growth of telecom in Latin America, as well as the entire world, Slim said, “We have 85 percent penetration in Latin America.” This stat surpasses some of those in the US and Canada. As we all go through this digital transformation, the need for bandwidth is greater thanks to all the data and video out there. People today live in a digital world, switching from telephones to cellphones, books to the Kindle or iPad. Slim believes that wireless is becoming more and more important for the new society of knowledge and learning. The challenge is to make these products available and accessible to everyone. This begins with offering better jobs and higher incomes to the customers and the people so they can afford a computer. Another challenge is to create a network big enough to encompass entire countries, and the world.

Innovation, creativity, and technology are key ingredients to overcoming these obstacles. It is very important that you absorb the best technology in the world, and that's not only in telecommunications, but everywhere that technology's available. That's very important because the world can move at [a] faster speed.”

Looking Ahead

The G20 Meeting will be held in Toronto this weekend and if Mr. Slim had his way, the members would be discussing more than just monetary and fiscal issues. There is more to the current economic crisis than what is on the surface. These nations need to look at what is really happening and make structural changes in this crisis.

Location, Location, Location

Growth and expansion are two key components for a successful business. But the big question is “Where?” Both developed and emerging markets are looking for investors. Slim believes the decision is dependent not necessarily on the country, but on the idea. The “idea” is what will invite the investor to pour money into a project.

There cannot be growth without employment. Slim feels he does not see that the developed countries are doing programs for employment. And the employment “is given not by the government, it is given by the employers that are the business community.” If Slim could start his career today anywhere in the world, he would go to an emerging country.

Crystal Lau contributed to this article.

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