Concordia held our first Regional Summit on the Americas in partnership with Americas Society/Council of the Americas at Miami Dade College on May 12-13, 2016. The Americas Summit was a high-level gathering of public and private sector leaders to address the pressing political and economic priorities of the region by touching on topics including democracy, energy, trade, regional security, and corruption. This event served as a precursor, idea incubator, and partnership generator leading up to Concordia’s Annual Summit in New York City in September. If you are interested in attending future Concordia events, please view our membership page to become a Member.
8:00am – 9:00am Registration & Coffee
9:00am – 9:30am Welcome & Opening Remarks
Opening remarks were provided by Matthew A. Swift, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Concordia; Nicholas Logothetis, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Concordia; Former President of Spain José María Aznar; Tomás Regalado, Mayor of the City of Miami; and Eduardo Padrón, President of Miami Dade College.
9:30am – 10:45am Strengthening Democracy: New Challenges for New Leaders
The current political pendulum in Latin America has gained momentum towards democracy. In 2015, numerous elections across North, Central, and South America saw long-time ruling parties removed from power. After twelve years under the Kirchner administration, recent elections in Argentina have paved a new path for the country’s future. Mexico saw significant and surprising victories from independent and non-party candidates in legislative and local elections. Guatemala saw elections based on anti-corruption platforms. Even Canada saw significant voter turnout, which ousted several years of consecutive leadership.
Following Concordia’s 2015 Summit session on Latin American democracy, the 2016 Summit on the Americas will dedicate several Country Spotlights on Latin American nations experiencing significant shifts in regional seats of power. As the new world order once imagined by 21st century Latin American socialism comes to a close, key countries that are critical to the stability will be highlighted over the course of two days, identifying important turning points for each country, new challenges that will face incumbent, and inevitably, new leadership, as well as identify what can be learned from recent scandal and political turmoil.
10:45am – 11:00am Coffee Break
11:00am-12:30pm Economic Alliances: International Trade Policy in the Americas
There has been an irreversible change in the global economy, which presents a unique opportunity for American nations to unleash their growth potential. From the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the Pacific Alliance, Mercosur to the Union of South American Nations, economic alliances offer increased connectivity, bolstered prosperity, and access to some of the fastest growing markets in the world. However, while expanding both trade and investment flows, member economies may also be prioritizing their competitive edge over neighbors and risk impediment to the development of infant industries at home.
This session will discuss the potential of these American initiatives and the impact of closer economic ties with regional neighbors, highlighting advances and tackling challenges that continue to impede substantive integration. Will the TPP act as a catalyst of further integration beyond participating economies? How do these alliances affect moves to democracy, influence culture, promote transparency, impact labor and environmental standards, and ignite development? Opponents to the TPP are dissatisfied with the lack of guarantees made for American workers to compete in the global economy, how are these concerns being addressed? Should there be greater significance placed on cross-border infrastructure? How does US leadership influence buy-in from participating countries and impact success of trade agreements? How can these alliances help Latin America diversify their economy, given that this is currently their greatest challenge? What effect do these agreements have on industries from consumer commodities to travel and tourism? What can the private sector do to ensure policy is implemented through the next American administration? How can we promote public-private high-level dialogue for economic development in the Americas?