A major conference to be held before next month’s Summit of the Americas in Colombia will bring together continental presidents and global business giants like Facebook and PepsiCo, reported local media Friday.
More than 1,000 executives will attend the Cartagena Business Summit of the Americas, representing over 370 companies with a net worth of more than $1.1 trillion — more than a quarter of South America’s GDP.
They will meet Colombian, Canadia, Mexican, Peruvian and Chilean presidents, among other political leaders.
The event is intended to bring dialogue between the private and public sector in the region to an all-time high. The US State Department’s summit coordinator, John Feely, said that the event recognizes that the “private sector is the biggest employer, and thus will open a continental dialogue in order to level the playing field between the private sector and governments”
Bank Nova Scotia, Walmart, General Motors, Femsa and Blum Capital, are among other attendees.
Over the course of the two-day conference, panels will be held covering topics such as human capital, infrastructure for sustainable development, natural resource challenges and the private sector’s role in social development.
Panelist and director of Chilean NGO, A Roof For My Country, Javier Zulueta, said increasing continental integration between private companies, society and the public sector was crucial. “Eradicating poverty is only possible if forces are joined. Any independent attempt that a company, NGO, or government makes will fail,” he said.
The Business Summit of the Americas will take place just before the major regional Summit of The Americas for heads of state including Barack Obama, also in Cartagena, on April 14 and 15.