Colombian Trade Minister Luis Guillermo Plata said Tuesday that the World Economic Forum on Latin America (WEF), which begins today in the coastal city of Cartagena, demonstrates “confidence” in Colombia as an investment destination.
Plata said that “the arrival of some of the most important men in the business world demonstrates the confidence that the country generates, which will be confirmed by their experience of coming to Colombia to study investment possibilities.”
The WEF’s theme is “New Partnerships for a Sustainable Recovery,” and it will “explore the challenges and opportunities for Latin America in the next 10 years,” according to the official website.
The forum’s 550 guests come from 40 different countries, 60% of which are outside Latin America, according to WEF organizers.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, as well as the presidents of Barbados, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay and the Dominincan Republic will attend the forum. One of the purposes of the forum will be strengthen relations between public policy and business.
Senior U.S. State Department official Arturo Valenzuela will also attend the forum.
Representatives from international companies such as Ernst & Young, McDonalds, British American Tobacco, Dell, General Electic, Nestle and Bank Of America will also be present.
Topics such as economic outlook, social investment, crime fighting and intra-regional trade will be on the WEF’s table.
Forum Director, Mexican Emilio Lozoya said he expects investment to flow into the region.
The International Monetary Fund predicts that Latin America markets will grow 3.7% this year, while the U.S. market is projected to only grow 2.7%. North American and Europe are increasingly investing in Latin America because they are seeking region less affected by the global economic crisis, reports El Espectador.