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News Release

Ninth World Economic Forum on Latin America to Open in Panama

Lucy Jay-Kennedy, Senior Media Manager, Public Affairs, +507 65398327, lucy.jaykennedy@weforum.org

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  • The World Economic Forum on Latin America to take place in Panama City, Panama, on 1-3 April 2014
  • Over 600 participants are expected from the region and around the world
  • The theme of the meeting is “Opening Pathways for Shared Progress”
  • Learn more about the meeting at http://wef.ch/latam2014

Panama City, Panama 28 March 2014 – Convening under the theme “Opening Pathways for Shared Progress”, the World Economic Forum on Latin America, taking place on 1-3 April in Panama City, will bring together more than 600 leaders from government, industry, civil society and academia from over 50 nations to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the region.

With the support of the President of Panama Ricardo Martinelli and the Government of Panama, and the Forum’s Strategic and Regional Partners, key decision-makers, including youth representatives, will focus on shaping a strategic vision for the region’s growth and development.

“Latin America has vast natural resources and important human capital,” said Marisol Argueta de Barillas, Senior Director and Head of Latin America of the World Economic Forum. “It has shown its financial resilience with sustained economic growth for the past decade, and despite complex economic perspectives, it is now open for greater investment in a host of different industries.”

The World Economic Forum on Latin America will include sessions to address the need to diversify it's the economies of the region, modernize it's infrastructure, boost productivity and innovation, invest in human capital, modernize infrastructure, and improve the quality of education and skills for the long-term development of the region, as well as the need to respond to the demands of its growing middle class, including efficient and better public services and more high-quality employment. The full programme of the meeting is available here.

“All these topics are key challenges our region faces. We are honored that Panama has been chosen to host this important regional event. Panama has always been a path of trade and culture throughout its history, and we hope through this forum we can set the path for the future shared progress of the region,” said Roberto Henríquez, Minister of the Presidency of Panama.

“We are pleased to be the host country of this important event, which will count with a carefully-structured top level agenda focused on the advances of the Latin-American region in the past years,” said Kristelle Getzler, Director, Economic Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic of Panama. “We are proud to greet heads of state and the most important figures of public, private and academic sectors, as well as the civil society, and we welcome you to the World Economic Forum for Latin America 2014, and to Panama.”

The co-chairs of the meeting are: Arancha Gonzalez Laya, Executive Director, International Trade Centre (ITC), Switzerland; Stanley Motta, President, Copa Holdings, Panama; Arif M. Naqvi, Founder and Group Chief Executive, The Abraaj Group, United Arab Emirates; Frits D. van Paasschen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, USA; Jorge Quijano, Chief Executive Officer, Panama Canal Authority, Panama; and Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive Officer, WPP, United Kingdom.

Public figures participating in the meeting include seven heads of state or government, including: Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica; Juan Orlando Hernández, President of Honduras; Ricardo Martinelli, President of Panama; Atifete Jahjaga, President of the Republic of Kosovo; Otto Perez Molina, President of Guatemala; Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago; and Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico.

Additional public figures participating in this year’s meeting are: Ana María Baiardi Quesnel, Minister for Women's Affairs of Paraguay; Esteban Bullrich, Minister of Education of the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Mauricio Cárdenas , Minister of Finance and Public Credit of Colombia; Luis Fernando Carrera Castro, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala; Frank De Lima, Minister of Economy and Finance of Panama; Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Secretary of Economy of Mexico; Daniel Marteleto Godinho, Secretary of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade of Brazil; Manuel Pulgar-Vidal Otalora, Minister of Environment of Peru; Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington DC; Enrique Garcia, President of CAF - Latin American Bank, Caracas and José Miguel Insulza, Secretary-General, Organization of American States (OAS), Washington DC.

Notes to Editors


    The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

    Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).