FONPLATA held a successful Integration and Development Forum in Uruguay
The 1st Integration and Development Forum organized by FONPLATA – Development Bank and LatinFinance in Montevideo had first class panelists and a large audience. For two days, economic leaders of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and high-level representatives of international organizations discussed topics, such as development, economic and social growth, and infrastructure.
“This 1st Integration and Development Forum is an excellent opportunity to deal with subjects that are important in this context of renewal of our countries’ administrations. It allows us to continue to add new perspectives and address new challenges in each of our institutions and work teams of our governments, in order to be more effective in achieving sustainable development within an inclusion and equity framework”, stated Juan Notaro, Executive President of FONPLATA, with regard to the objectives of the event held in Montevideo (Uruguay) on March 5 and 6.
“As representatives of international organizations promoting development through the access to funding, it is important to consider how we could be more effective and which are the actions to be taken to enhance the strengthening of our region”, added Notaro in the opening ceremony of this event, which gathered the public and private sectors, representatives of development banks, international organizations, investors, and development financiers in a high-level dialogue.
In the first day, investment promotion agencies, development banks, and international organizations presented their experiences and talked about the role they play in the development of Latin America. ALIDE Secretary-General, Edgardo Álvarez; BDMG President, Sérgio Gusmão Suchodolski; AFD regional representative, Philippe Orliange; the IDB group representative in Uruguay, Matías Bendersky; the EIB investments officer for Latin America, Joana Sarmento; and FONPLATA Operations and Countries Manager, Luciana Botafogo, explained the core areas of their activities, the need of establishing alliances and the increasingly important role of development banks to promote sustainable growth in the countries of the region.
The panel “Development, Challenges, and Opportunities in the Southern Cone” had the participation of Uruguay’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Azucena Arbeleche; Argentina’s Secretary of Strategic Affairs of the Presidency, Gustavo Béliz; Brazil’s Special Secretary on Foreign Trade and International Affairs, Marcos Troyjo; and Paraguay’s Minister of Finance, Benigno López, and was moderated by Mr. Notaro. All four government authorities, which also represent each of their countries in FONPLATA Board of Governors, exchanged perspectives on the future of the region.
Topics discussed included how economic public policies should evolve in order to encompass productivity, employment, and, especially, investment growth; how the countries’ administrations should address the structure of expenditure; and up to what point a limited tax environment may affect the capacity to implement social development programs.
The members of the panel also shared their perspective on the integration levels within MERCOSUR, the alliances that the supranational body may generate and its impact in regional development. Besides, the representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay referred to the way multilateral funding banks may focus on the new challenges in this world threatened by climate change and undergoing fast technological innovation in order to present tools adjusted to the countries’ needs to generate inclusive growth, improving the life of their people.
The participants in the panel “Social Challenges for Economic Growth” – the senator and former president of the Central Bank of Uruguay, Mario Bergara; the manager of the IDB Department for the Countries of the Southern Cone, José Carlos Díez; and the Director of ECLAC’s office in Montevideo – debated how to deepen the necessary actions to generate an environment that favors investment, as well as sustainable and inclusive economic growth. In that sense, the members of the panel highlighted the role of education and the importance of technology to reach significant progress in the living conditions of the population.
In the second day, Uruguay’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Talvi; ALADI Secretary-General, Alejandro Peña Navarrete; the World Bank Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, Martín Rama; the Head of the EU Delegation to Uruguay, Karl-Otto König; and Brazil’s director of the MERCOSUR and Regional Integration Department, Michel Arslanian Neto, participated in the panel “International Trade and Integration”. The panelists agreed on the importance of integration policies and the generation of alliances inside and outside the region, referring, particularly, to the recent EU-MERCOSUR agreement as a common negotiation position to boost foreign trade in the countries of this regional bloc.
The panel “Infrastructure and Energy: the Path Forward” closed the meeting with the participation of Uruguay’s Minister of Transport and Public Work, Luis Alberto Heber; the Governor of the Argentine Province of Chaco, Jorge Capitanich; Paraguay’s Vice-Minister of Public Work and Communications, Ignacio Gómez Nunes; and CAF Private Sector Vice-President, Jorge Arbache. Moderated by BDMG President, Sergio Gusmão Suchodolski, the discussion stressed the need of overcoming the existing obstacles to regional integration by expanding the transport and communication networks between the countries of the region. In that sense, there was encouragement to boost local economies with the focus on joint and integrated development, complementary to infrastructure and energy sources in order to reach sustainable development that promotes countries’ adjustment to climate change.
The participants of the 1st Integration and Development Forum were also able to meet and establish alliances. On March 5, FONPLATA Executive President, Juan Notaro, and BDMG President, Sérgio Gusmão Suchodolski, together with Brazil Special Secretary for Foreign Trade and International Affairs, Marcos Troyjo, signed a new memorandum of understanding agreeing on a line of credit to fund development projects of the municipalities of the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais.