Council To Convene Meeting of Andean Trade Ministers in Atlanta


Ramón Zertuche
Program Manager, Latin American & Caribbean
Inter-American Economic Council
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Suite 207
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 548-0400 / (202) 548-0427 (fax)
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Inter-American Economic Council Announces Official Andean Trade Ministers Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia

WASHINGTON - October 11, 2003 - Barry Featherman, President of the Inter-American Economic Council today announced the Council will convene the next Official Andean Trade Ministers Meeting on October 17 and 18 in Atlanta, Georgia. This key meeting will provide a forum for developing strategies for the FTAA Negotiations.
Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin said, "Our City provides the perfect business setting to hold this Official Meeting of Andean Trade Ministers&.. President Jimmy Carter, Governor Sonny Perdue and I will do everything in our power to ensure that your visit is enjoyable and successful."

High Level Ministerial Delegations from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela will begin arriving in Atlanta on October 16. The meetings will be chaired by Guillermo Fernandez de Soto, Secretary General of the Andean Community and Ivonne Baki, Minister of Commerce of Ecuador and President of the Andean Community Secretariat,. In addition to the Andean Trade Ministers, Government Trade Officials from Canada, Chile, Mexico and the Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative will be discussing the FTAA Negotiations. During this event, the Ministers will meet with Former United States President Jimmy Carter and participate in a business roundtable moderated by CNN en Espanol Anchor Alberto Padilla.

"The Andean Trade Ministers Meeting is a key component of our Organization's Andean Initiative," said Council President Featherman. "We are fully committed to realizing the potential opportunity that the FTAA offers the Andean Countries, and to provide a forum for the Andean Trade Ministers to ensure that the FTAA negotiations produce an agreement that facilitates economic growth and development in the Andean Region."

The FTAA negotiations will enter an important phase on February 15, 2003, when countries are supposed to submit their specific offers to reduce trade barriers in five key areas: agriculture; goods; services; investment; and government procurement. This key meeting in Atlanta will enable the Andean Trade Ministers to determine their region's negotiating posture during future multi-lateral FTAA Negotiations.

Barry Featherman announced the dates for the Atlanta Ministerial this afternoon in Washington, DC. Last June, at the OAS General Assembly Meeting in Santiago, Chile, a. proposal to host the next Ministerial in Atlanta, Georgia was accepted by the Inter-American Economic Council and the Andean Community Secretariat.

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