Santos, Lula, and Moreno to inaugurate Colombia-Brazil business forum

Prominent business and government personalities will take part in the First Colombia-Brazil Investment Forum on August 4 in Bogotá, Colombia. The event, sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will be inaugurated by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno.

More than 500 government officials and business leaders from both countries are expected to attend, looking for ways to increase bilateral trade and investment.The IDB is organizing the Forum together with the Office of the President of the Republic of Colombia and the Colombian trade promotion agency, Proexport.

Speakers and moderators include Brazilian Telecommunications Minister Paulo Bernardo and the governors of the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Pernambuco. Among the many corporate speakers are Jorge Gerdau, founder of the Competitive Brazil Movement; Luis Carlos Sarmiento of the Organización Sarmiento; André Esteves of BTG Pactual; Marcelo Odebrecht of Grupo Odebrecht; Germán Efromovich of Avianca, José Sergio Gabrielli of Petrobras: and CarlosRaúl Yepes of Grupo Bancolombia.

Annual trade between Colombia and Brazil has quadrupled since 2004, to $3 billion. Nevertheless, the number is far below the potential trade and investment volumes between South America’s two most populous nations. An IDB priority is to promote greater South-South integration.

The IDB, which is the largest source of long-term development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, plans to increase its resources for the private sector for the region, doubling current levels.

The forum, which will be held at Bogota’s Club El Nogal starting at 8 a.m., is by invitation only. Journalists in Colombia wishing to cover the event must register with Juan Pablo Turbay, Tel: 57-315-297-9012, Brazilian journalists need to register with Janaina Goulart, Tel: 5561-3317-4285,