IberoAmerican Participants Urge the Institutionalization of the Inter-American Economic Council
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Program Manager, Latin American & Caribbean
Inter-American Economic Council
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 548-0400 / (202) 548-0427 (fax)
San Jose, Costa Rica, Nov. 23, 2004 -- The Inter American Economic Council (IAEC) is pleased to provide the outcomes of its private public discussions from its Annual Business Roundtable convened on November 18, 2004 on the eve of the Opening of the XIV IberoAmerican Summit of Heads of State and Heads of Government in San Jose, Costa Rica. 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 Trade Integration and Creating a Level Playing Field for Business in IberoAmerica.
The Business Roundtable was held under the auspices of the Government of Costa Rica. It was inaugurated by H.E. Abel Pacheco de Espriella, President of the Republic of Costa Rica and HE Ambassador Christopher Thomas, Chairman of the Inter-American Economic Council. The Roundtable was moderated by Council President Barry S. Featherman, Esq. HE Manuel Gonzalez, Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica delivered the Luncheon Keynote Address.
Specific recommendations resulting from the Business Roundtable included:
(1) The Business Roundtable Ratified the Need for a Secretariat for the IberoAmerican Summit to oversee the implementation of Summit Resolutions.
(2) The Participants Urged the Institutionalization of the Inter-American Economic Council as the Private Sector Agency within the Secretariat that would facilitate Business Roundtables, Private Sector and Civil Society Input and Comment to generate issues for consideration by the Heads of State at future IberoAmerican Summits. This was predicated on the Council's history in working with Latin American Governments in organizing Roundtables at the Summits
On the Issue of Creating Level Playing Field, President Pacheco indicated that Costa Rica would seek the support of the IberoAmerican Summit in the fight against Corruption. Ambassador Albert Ramdin, candidate for Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States stated that there needs to be a concerted effort in both the fight against corruption and the promotion of transparency. He also advocated that more work be done to promote intraregional trade integration between Central American and the Caribbean within the framework of other multilateral agreements.
About the Council
The Council's goal is to work with sub-regional groups within Latin America including the Central America Results Initiative, 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 organized business roundtables at the IberoAmerican Summits under the Auspices of the Governments of Bolivia and Costa Rica. The Council has organized similar programs at OAS General Assembly Meetings under the Auspices of the Governments of Barbados, Chile and Ecuador and throughout the Caribbean. The Council is chaired by His Excellency Ambassador Christopher Thomas, the former Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States.