Council's IV Annual Private Sector Forum serves as key kick off of 35th OAS General Assembly

The Inter American Economic Council (IAEC) is pleased to provide the outcomes of its private public discussions from its Annual Business Roundtable convened on June 4, 2005 on the eve of the Opening of the XXXV Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States. The IAEC is dedicated to promoting better government policy making by providing a forum for direct interaction with the private sector. The purpose of the Business Roundtable was to provide a forum for high level public-private discussions and centered around the theme of Economic Growth and Development in the Caribbean Basin.

The Business Roundtable was held under the auspices of the Governor of Florida. It was inaugurated by the Honorable Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida, HE Jose Miguel Insulza Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Mr. R. Allen Stanford, Chairman of the Stanford Financial Group and HE Ambassador Christopher Thomas, Chairman of the Inter-American Economic Council.

The topics covered at this year's Business Roundtable were geared towards trade and investment in the Caribbean Region including remarks by Mr. R. Allen Stanford, Chairman of the Stanford Group that focused on appropriate ways to engage the private sector and governments in the development of strategies to create attractive investment climates to promote economic growth and development for the peoples of the Caribbean Region and the Wider Hemisphere including the overall Economic Situation in the Caribbean. Specific topic discussions centered on Strengthening the Relationship with the United States of America and pertinent regulatory regimes that could attract investment to the region, investment issues in the Caribbean region generally and greater involvement of the Private Sector in the region, Trade and the FTAA, connectivity and project finance.

The Roundtable also included the participation of 6 Members of the United States House of Representatives Congressional Caribbean Caucus including Robert Ney, Donald Payne, GK Butterfield, Albert Wynn, Donna Christensen, Gregory Meeks, the Caricom and Central America Foreign Ministers and Ambassadors Accredited to the Organization of American States and Business Leaders including the Vice President/Latin America of AOL, the Vice President/Latin America Government Affairs of Microsoft, the President of LatCel, the President of Miami Wireless, Beatrice Rangel President of AMLA Consulting, Dennis Flannery, Executive Vice President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Mr. Fadi Nahas, Chairman of NA Plus, and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce Anne Alonzo, Executive Vice President of the National Foreign Trade Councilamonst many others.

Specific recommendations from several participants included:
- On the political front, there exists the need to encourage consensus politics by the Region's leadership on creating an attractive climate for investment.

- Ensure the inclusion of the private sector and its role in helping develop policy for the region and recognizing the significant catalysing and political role the private sector has and can play in investment of the region.

- Help to eliminate obstacles to the FTAA process and ensure cooperation and technical assistance.

- The Council President, Barry Featherman urged concerted efforts to consolidate democracy, fight corruption, promote transparency and the rule of law as the only way for the Caribbean and Latin America to ultimately compete in the global economy. Featherman reiterated the Council's position that equitable benefits be felt in all states in the region especially those micro and small states with limited human, technological and natural resources. He said that this applies not just in the Small Economies but just as importantly extends to the Nations of the Hemisphere.

The Inter-American Economic Council, avails itself of this opportunity to transmit to the Governor of the State of Florida, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States and the Chairman of the Stanford Financial Group their profound gratitude for assisting with this OAS Business Roundtable.

About the Council
The Council's goal is to work with sub-regional groups within Latin America including the Andean Initiative and the Caribbean Initiative to facilitate understanding and greater sensitivity and appreciation of specific regional issues. The Council has cooperative agreements with the Organization of American States signed by the Council President with Dr. Cesar Gaviria in June of 2000 and the Caribbean Development Bank signed by President Featherman with Dr. Compton Bourne last December. The Council is chaired by His Excellency Ambassador Christopher Thomas, the former Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States.


SESSION SUMMARY: IV Business Roundtable timed to coincide with the
35th Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly

- Raul Herrera, Head of Latin American Practice - Winston & Strawn LLP

DOWNLOAD of Session Summary Coming Soon

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