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Guatemala 2014 Blog: Opening Remarks

Foreign Relations Viceminister Rodrigo Vielmann. (Image: José Pablo Martínez)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Speakers:

  • Susan Segal,  President & CEO Americas Society/Council of the Americas
  • Felipe Bosch, President, FUNDESA
  • Rodrigo Vielmann, Viceminister of Foreign Relations, Guatemala

For the first time, AS/COA hosted a Latin American Cities Conference in Guatemala. In the opening remarks, AS/COA President and CEO President Susan Segal commented on the Central American country's recent economic progress and its efforts to lead the region towards more integration, stability, and trade ties with the rest of world. For example, the World Bank's 2014 Doing Business Index ranked Guatemala among the top ten countries to create regulations that improved business. But Segal said other areas such as social inclusion need the government's attention as well.

FUNDESA President Felipe Bosch noted that cooperation between the private and public sectors has improved business in the country significantly. He also pointed to new development projects underway, and explained that human capital is one of the country's greatest assets. "Guatemala has advanced, but as entrepreneurs we know that there is a lot of work to be done," said Bosche. "We've started working to reduce the public's malnutrition and to improve education to take advantage of a new demographic window."

Foreign Relations Viceminister Rodrigo Vielmann took the podium and spoke about the country's vision to become an investment magnet for the world. Vielmann said all sectors of society had contributed to Guatemala's progress, "allowing the country to demonstrate its commtiment to democratic values."

Watch the video.