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Heads of state, business leaders to attend first CEO Summit of the Americas

Heads of state and hundreds of business leaders will meet at the first CEO Summit of the Americas April 13–14 in Cartagena, Colombia to discuss globalization, infrastructure, human capital and other key economic issues. The scope and level of participation make it an unprecedented opportunity for a public-private exchange. 

Ten heads of state have confirmed their attendance to the conference, which will be held during the Summit of the Americas. Joining them will be more than 500 business leaders and executives from 22 countries in the Western Hemisphere. The meeting is being convened by the government of Colombia and the country's private sector. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is providing technical support. 

The event will be opened by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. 

Participants will focus on five areas, with an eye to identifying opportunities where the public and private sectors can work together to encourage investment, combat poverty, and raise living standards for the citizens of the Americas. 

  • Globalization and Development. In today’s world, countries develop by integrating into global supply chains. By virtue of their geographical and cultural proximity as well as productive complementarity, Latin America and the Caribbean can increase their participation and value added production in these chains with Canada and the United States. The panel will open with a presentation by Mexican President Felipe Calderón, followed by Carlos Julio Ardila of the Ardila Lulle Organization; FEMSA CEO José Antonio Fernández; Luis Carlos Villegas, president of ANDI; Scotiabank president and CEO Richard Waugh; and Brasil Foods CEO José Antonio do Prado Fay.
     
  • Intelligent Infrastructure and Sustainable Development. Global trade and urbanization have transformed the economies of the Americas. Logistics increasingly tend toward green and intelligent solutions, and transportation systems must include more use of technology. This issue will be addressed by Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and Uruguayan President José Mujica and by panelists Marcelo Odebrecht, CEO of Odebrecht; COPA Holdings chairman Stanley Motta; IMPSA CEO Enrique Pescarmona; Reinaldo García, president and CEO of General Electric Latin America; and Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
     
  • Human Capital for the Knowledge Economy. One of the key challenges facing the Americas is the need for human capital that can meet the demands of constant innovation and a changing business environment. The public and private sectors must work together to make the successful transition toward a knowledge-based economy. The issue will be addressed in a conversation with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller. Joining them will be Alejandro Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo Group; Richard Blum, chairman of Blum Capital; Marcelo Claure, CEO of Brightstar Corporation; Emilio Azcárraga, CEO of Televisa Group; and Arne M. Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, Inc.
     
  • Economic Growth and Natural Resources. The sustainable management of natural resources requires public policies that encourage good practices and private sector involvement. The issue will be addressed by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, in addition to Jack Goldstein, president of Sanford; Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo Inc.; Aaron Regent, CEO of Barrick Gold Corp; Diego Hernández, CEO of Codelco; and Arthur Lok Jack, chairman of Associated Brands Industries Limited.
     
  • Social Development and the Private Sector. Companies are the main motors to drive an economy toward a sustainable, inclusive growth rate that contributes to poverty reduction. The panel will look into ways the private sector can seize this opportunity, analyzing the private sector’s essential role in the social development of the Americas. Panelists and presenters include Luis Carlos Sarmiento Gutiérrez, Aval Group; Gustavo Grobocopatel, CEO of Los Grobo; Javier Zulueta, CEO of Un Techo Para Mi País; William Sheedy, group president, Americas Visa Inc.; and Thomas McLarty, CEO of McLarty Associates.

In addition, the event will include a conversation among heads of state. U.S. President Barack Obama, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Colombian President Santos are expected to participate.

Media access to the event will be restricted due to space limitations. Journalists accredited with the Summit of the Americas will be able to use a press room in the Hilton Hotel, the venue of the CEO Summit of the Americas.