Hundreds of businesspeople will join 13 heads of state to discuss ways to deepen public-private cooperation to improve regional trade and investment conditions
Around 400 business executives from Latin America and the Caribbean will meet May 23 in Cali, Colombia for a CEO Summit that will take place during the Seventh Presidential Summit of the Pacific Alliance, a trade agreement that aims to achieve free circulation of goods, services, capital and people to boost regional competitiveness.
During the one-day CEO Summit, regional business leaders and government officials will discuss opportunities for trade and investment that will be enhanced by the Pacific Alliance, which was created in 2012. The Presidents of the four founding countries — Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru — will participate in a roundtable discussion, joined at the event by the heads of state of nine countries that are official observers of the Alliance: Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Japan, New Zealand, Panama, Spain and Uruguay.
The meeting aims to spur a dialogue between the public and private sectors so that they can work together to improve the investment climate, streamline regulations and boost trade ties between countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and the rest of the world, particularly the Asia-Pacific region.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been a strong supporter of the Pacific Alliance, providing technical assistance to the four founding countries. IDB specialists have conducted studies on labor flows and migratory regulations in the region, as part of an effort to facilitate the free movement of labor in the future. The Bank also has helped with a comparative analysis of regulatory issues in the Alliance’s four member countries in order to recommend the adoption of best practices that would be compatible with the OECD and other international bodies.
The Bank also has provided support to the Business Council of the Pacific Alliance, known by its Spanish acronym CEAP, for the implementation of the private sector’s work agenda. This support includes analysis on the promotion of greater financial integration and promotion of productive chains among the four countries in order to promote trade with other regions, especially Asia. Other work includes the implementation of trade facilitation through single-window mechanisms and standardization of technical norms for several industry sectors.
The Pacific Alliance was established in June 2012 with the goal of fostering economic and trade integration that eventually would lead to the free circulation of goods, services, capital and labor in the sub-region, in order to boost regional competitiveness and facilitate international trade, especially with the Asian-Pacific region. The countries have agreed to eliminate tariffs on at least 90 percent of their commerce, and they are negotiating additional measures on rules of origin, trade facilitation, services and investment, regulatory improvement, and cooperation.
The CEO Summit is being organized by Colombia’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, with the country’s Proexport agency, and the Inter-American Development Bank.