- Pressemitteilung BoxID 156264
No time for Latin America to be complacent, business leaders warn
- While Latin America is recovering from the global economic crisis, countries cannot afford to be complacent and must redouble efforts to pursue necessary reforms and deepen regional integration
- The World Economic Forum on Latin America 2010 closes
- More information about the meeting is available here: http://www.weforum.org/latinamerica2010
While Latin America is recovering from the global economic crisis and has made progress in addressing major social challenges and promoting democracy over the past decade, the region cannot afford to be complacent, global and regional business leaders concluded at the closing plenary session of the World Economic Forum on Latin America.
"Latin America has successfully weathered the crisis," said Jorge Londoño Saldarriaga, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bancolombia and a Co-Chair of the meeting. "Not only are our economies in a particularly good place but our businesses are well managed." In recent years, Colombia and many other countries have managed to improve law and order significantly, he added. "Ten years ago, we couldn't have held a meeting like this mainly because of the security situation."
But this is no time to be complacent, fellow Co-Chair James S. Turley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ernst & Young, warned. "One of the things that this region needs to do is stop the happy talk." He argued that Latin American countries must focus firmly on pushing through necessary reforms, particularly to improve education, address corruption and deepen regional integration, among other pressing priorities. "These are tough real issues that have to be confronted," Turley stressed.
Turley was especially concerned about the ability of Latin America to boost cooperation among countries. "If, in fact, this region collectively, and countries individually, don't see the power of coordination, then I see this as a serious challenge. As coordinated as the world was during the crisis, I do fear that in the recovery there will be a tendency for countries to go it alone. That is a risk."
Regional integration will not be easy, Luis Fernando Alarcón Mantilla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Grupo Empresarial ISA, Colombia and another meeting Co-Chair, told participants. "Latin America is not a single Latin America. There are different governments and economies with considerable differences." He worried that some countries will be slow to implement critical restructuring. "Our governments are usually slow in policy reforms but those who take the initiative and make the right decisions - and we all know what we have to do - will have much better results," Alarcón remarked.
Meeting Co-Chair Luiz Fernando Furlan, Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of BRF Brasil Foods, welcomed the positive outlook among Latin Americans. "One of the major perceptions I have from this meeting is the change in the mood compared to last year," he remarked. "People are talking about the future now." He was particularly encouraged that regional business leaders at the meeting announced their support for REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, plus management, conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) projects and related initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.
In remarks to close the meeting, World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab announced that next year's World Economic Forum on Latin America will be held in Brazil. The venue and dates will be announced in the next few weeks.
More information about the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2010 at www.weforum.org/en/events/latinamerica2010
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