Private Sector needs greater role in region's Policy Development say participants during Council's Roundtable at 34th 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 5, 2004 on the eve of the election of the OAS Secretary General at the opening of the XXXIV Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States.

The Business Roundtable was held under the auspices of the Government of Ecuador. It was inaugurated by H.E. Patricio Zuquilanda Duque, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador and H.E. Ambassador Christopher Thomas, Chairman of the Inter-American Economic Council. The Conference was moderated by Council President, Barry S. Featherman. H.E. President Miguel Angel Rodriguez delivered the keynoted address on the eve of his election as Secretary General of the Organization of American States. The program included remarks by H.E. Mauricio Yepez, Minister of Finance of Ecuador; H.E. Ivonne Baki, Minister of Commerce; H.E. Eduardo Lopez, Minister of Energy; H.E. Gladys Eljuri, Minister of Tourism; Luis Baker, President of Grupo Pronaza; Raul Herrera, Chairman of the Latin American Practice of Winston and Strawn LLP; H.E. Jose Manuel Rodriguez, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru; H.E. Jorge Gumucio, ViceMinister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia; H.E. Ambassador Horacio Serpa of Colombia; Dr. Luis Oganes, Vice President of Emerging Markets of Chase JP Morgan Chase and Jose Manuel Salazar, Director of the OAS Unit on Trade who formed part of the distinguished group of speakers that included leading business executives from the United States and the Andean Region. Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ministers of Government, Staff Members of the United States Congress, and the Press also attended the program held at the JW Marriott Hotel-Quito.

The Conference was sponsored by Arizaga & Co. Abogados, Almacenes Juan El Juri, Cayetan & Monica, Ministerio de Comercio Exterior, Industrializacisn, Pesca y Competitividad del Ecuador, Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores del Ecuador, Ministerio de Turismo del Ecuador, Metropolitan Touring, Quantum, Stanford Financial Group, and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito without whom this program would not have been possible.

The topics covered at this year's Business Roundtable were geared towards trade and investment in the Andean Region including remarks by President Rodriguez that focused on appropriate ways to engage multi-lateral institutions (such as the OAS), 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 Andean Region and the Wider Hemisphere and the overall Economic Situation in the Andean Region. Specific topic discussions centered on Ecuador as a regional investment platform and pertinent regulatory regimes that could attract investment to the region, investment issues in the Andean region generally, the Summit Process and greater involvement of the Private Sector in partnering with government, Trade and the U.S. Andean FTA and , the cost of energy and the financing of energy projects.

Specific recommendations from several participants included:

- On the political front, there exists the need to encourage
consensus politics by the Hemisphere's leadership on Trade
Integration in order to come to a framework agreement as
quickly as possible.

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

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

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 Andean Region 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 of the Andean Region but just as importantly extends to the Nations of the Caribbean. One size does not fit all.

The Inter-American Economic Council avails itself of this opportunity to transmit to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Ecuador its profound gratitude for assisting with this OAS Business Roundtable.




KEYNOTE ADDRESS: H.E. Miguel Angel Rodriguez (spanish)
Please click below to download a copy of H.E. Miguel Angel Rodriguez's keynote address.

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