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The Americas Business Dialogue

Activities at the IDB-IIC Annual Meeting in Bahamas

Business leaders gathered to continue advancing a public-private agenda for the development of the region.

Nassau, Bahamas - A plenary meeting of the Americas Business Dialogue was held on April 7th, in the framework of the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), with the goal of agreeing in a plan of action towards the III CEO Summit of the Americas (Lima, 2018).

Over 70 business leaders from 22 countries in the region discussed how to move forward with the governments on the implementation of some of the ABD recommendations focused on improving infrastructure and strengthening trade; facilitating financial resources for economic growth, stimulating innovation and the development of human capital; and maximizing the potential of the region’s energy resources.

Antoni Estevadeordal, Manager of the IDB Trade and Integration Sector, remarked that “frank, constructive and sustained public-private dialogue and partnership is crucial to maximizing the contributions that the private sector may make to economic growth, job creation and development in the countries of our region.” In addition, Fabrizio Opertti, Chief of the IDB Trade and Investment Unit, affirmed that the IDB remains strong in its commitment to facilitate the Americas Business Dialogue, and shared the activities undertaken by the Bank with the goal of providing opportunities for both public and private sectors in regards with the implementation of some of the recommendations included in the the report "From Dialogue to Action: Policy Recommendations and Public-Private Partnership Proposals.”

The Vice President for the Americas of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Jodi Hanson Bond, indicated that “The dialogue between the ABD and governments shows the progress we can make towards increasing economic development and opportunity in the Americas. When the public and private sectors work together, we find pragmatic solutions that enhance our regional competitiveness.”

In that sense, the President of the Confederación Nacional de Instituciones Empresariales Privadas (CONFIEP - Perú), Martín Pérez Monteverde, shared that CONFIEP will be one of the hosts of the III CEO Summit that will take place in Lima in 2008 and added that the Summit will offer a great opportunity to share the progress made with the Heads of State of the region in relation with the ABD recommendations.

The Director for Industrial Development of the Confederação Nacional da Indústria (CNI - Brazil) highlighted the importance for the private sector of having spaces for public-private dialogue and shared as an example the progress made by the ABD Working Group on Trade Facilitation during the Public-Private Dialogue on Trade Facilitation, recently held in Buenos Aires with Trade Ministers and Vice Ministers.

Moreover, the IIC CEO, James Scriven, seized the opportunity to discuss the new priorities and strategies of the institution after the completion of the private sector merge out undertaken by IDB Group during 2015.

During the morning of April 8, a series of seminars generated a high level public-private discussion focused on some of the recommendations developed by the ABD Working Groups. The seminars discussed the role of the private sector as an engine for growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, the measures that are necessary to increase financing for the private sector, the logistics and connectivity improvements that are key to facilitating Latin America and the Caribbean participation in global value chains and the energy challenges faces by Caribbean nations.

The abovementioned seminars included the participation as panelists of Daniel Godinho, Secretary of Foreign Trade of Brazil; Francisco Cabrera, Minister of Production of Argentina; Kurt Tong, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs of the U.S. State Department; Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Planning and Development of Trinidad y Tobago; Jodi Hanson Bond, Vice President for the Américas, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Laxman Narsimhan, CEO, PespiCo Latin America Foods; Jay Collins, Vice Chairman, Corporate and Investment Banking, Citi; Andrés Gluski, CEO ,AES Corporation; Rafael Santana, CEO, General Electric Latin America; David Bojanini García, CEO, Grupo Sura; and Pablo Vargas, CEO, Grupo Britt; among others and IDB, IIC and Caribbean Development Bank authorities.

In addition, in the context of the Annual Meeting, IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno stressed the “need to move from dialogue to action in the shared task of implementing at least some of the Americas Business Dialogue’s recommendations before the next Summit of the Americas” and reiterated the governments and the private sector have “the full support of the Inter-American Development Bank as we pursue this dialogue, whose ultimate goal is to improve lives throughout the region”.

The Americas Business Dialogue is a private sector driven initiative facilitated by the Inter-American Development Bank aimed at fostering a high level public-private policy dialogue among the business leaders and the government of the region on the priorities, challenges, and opportunities for the economic growth and development.

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