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2015 Latin American Cities Conferences: Bogota

Americas Society / Council of the Americas

June 11, 2015


In partnership with:


With oil prices dropping, Colombia’s growth prospects may be going down, but the country is still among the fastest-growing economies in Latin America. AS/COA's nineteenth conference in Bogota, in partnership with Fedesarrollo and ANIF, will look at the country's economic forecast and trade agenda by bringing together Wall Street analysts and investors, as well as key government officials and representatives from different trading partners.​

Confirmed Speakers:

Click here to view the agenda

Registration Fee: $210 for AS and COA members; $260 for non-members
Complete this form to register.

By credit card: Send completed form via e-mail to by Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

Event Information: Guillermo Zubillaga | | 1-212-277-8362
Sponsorship Opportunities: Ana Gilligan | | 1-212-277-8364 
COA Corporate Membership Information: Monica Vieira | | 1-212-277-8344
Press Inquiries: Adriana La Rotta | | 1-212-277-8384

Bogota 2015 Blog: Colombia in the Eyes of Wall Street

With oil prices dropping, Colombia’s growth prospects may be going down, but the country is still among the fastest-growing economies in Latin America. AS/COA's nineteenth conference in Bogota will look at the country's economic forecast and trade agenda.

Bogota 2015 Blog: Evaluating Colombia's Free Trade Agreements

Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015 | By Carin Zissis

Panelists gave insights on trade accords and Colombian priorities to diversify its export portfolio.  ... Read More

Bogota 2015 Blog: Colombia in the Eyes of Wall Street

Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015 | By Luisa Leme

Analysts from Standard & Poor's, Standish Mellon, and Colpatria described Colombia's economic potential and measures conducive to growth. ... Read More

Bogota 2015 Blog: Colombia's Economic Outlook Roundup

Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015 | By Holly K. Sonneland

Attendees in Bogota heard from Fedesarrollo’s Leonardo Villar, Sergio Clavijo of ANIF, and Minister of Finance Mauricio Cárdenas. ... Read More

Bogota 2015 Blog: Court Blocks Colombia from Selling Energy Firm

Posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 | By Christian Gómez, Jr.

Government revenues are down and the state is trying to sell off its controlling stake in a power company, but a court is preventing the sale. ... Read More

Bogota 2015 Blog: China Eyes Infrastructure Investments in Colombia

Posted on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 | By Elizabeth Gonzalez

Beijing’s investment pledge would boost a Pacific port city and road development. ... Read More

Bogota 2015 Blog: Colombia Adjusts to Oil Price Drop

Posted on Thursday, June 4, 2015 | By Holly K. Sonneland

As the price of oil edges back up from its fall last year, Colombia is working to make its budget less fiscally reliant on the barrel. ... Read More

Sebastian Briozzo

Senior Director and Analytical Manager, Sovereign Ratings, Standard & Poor’s

Sebastian Briozzo is senior director and analytical manager for Latin America in the Sovereign Ratings Group at Standard & Poor's in Mexico. He began his career at Standard & Poor’s in the Latin America International Public Finance group in 2000. Since then, Briozzo has expanded his analytical reach covering a wide range of sovereign and IPF credits, working out of the New York office from 2002 to 2006 and the Buenos Aires office from 2006 to 2015.

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Mauricio Cárdenas

Minister of Finance, Colombia

Mauricio Cárdenas is the minister of finance of Colombia. He is also currently a senior fellow and director of the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution and an expert in Global Economy, Political Development, and Foreign Relations since 2008. Previously, Cárdenas served as the minister of mines and energy of Colombia. He was also the executive director of the Fundación para la Educación Superior y el Desarrollo (Fedesarrollo) in Bogotá from 2003 to 2008.

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Kurt Kunz

Swiss Ambassador to Colombia

Kurt Kunz is the Swiss Ambassador to Colombia. Previously, he served as deputy director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Bern and as head of cooperation with the East in the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland from July 2010 to October 2014. Kunz worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross before entering the Swiss diplomatic service in 1989. He has served as second secretary at the Embassy of Switzerland in Brazil and as first secretary in the Swiss Embassy in Vienna, Austria.

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Ragnhild Melzi

Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Ragnhild Melzi is Americas Society/Council of the Americas’ vice president of Public Policy Programs and Corporate Relations. She provides leadership for the organizations’ international programming, which attracts top government officials, global business leaders, and prominent policy analysts to confront matters of critical hemispheric importance at discussions that take place across the Americas. Melzi has extensive experience in Latin American corporate finance and wealth management.

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Eduardo Muñoz Gomez

Vice Minister for Foreign Trade, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism

Eduardo Muñoz Gomez, is vice minister of trade at the Colombian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism. Additionally, he has been a consultant in foreign trade and internationalization strategies since August 2013. Muñoz Gomez previously served as director of the Centro de Aprovechamiento de Acuerdos Comerciales within the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism. He has also been an ambassador, permanent representative to the World Trade Organization, and a deputy permanent representative of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

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Javier Murcio

Director of Emerging Markets, Portfolio Manager and Senior Sovereign Analyst, Standish Mellon Asset Management

Javier Murcio is director of emerging markets, portfolio manager, and senior sovereign analyst at Standish Mellon Asset Management, a BNY Mellon subsidiary. He has 30 years of experience in emerging market analysis with special emphasis on Latin America. Over the last 18 years, Murcio has directed emerging market research teams at various investment banks including Credit Suisse and Paribas. His experience also includes consulting work with corporations and governments.

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Susan Segal

President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Susan Segal was elected president and CEO of the Americas Society and Council of the Americas in August 2003 after working in the private sector with Latin America and other emerging markets for over 30 years. A passionate supporter of Latin America, she joined the organizations to implement a new strategic plan to renew and return the Society and Council to their historic position. Prior to her current position, she was a founding partner of her own investment and advisory group focused primarily on Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic sector.

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Leonardo Villar

Executive Director, Fedesarrollo

Leonardo Villar is the director of Fedesarrollo, the principal private research center in Colombia. Previously, he was chief economist and vice president of development strategies and public policy at the Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF) based in Caracas. In the public sector, he was co-director of the Bank of the Republic from 1997 to 2009, technical deputy of finance from 1994 to 1997, and he also served on the Advisory Board of Foreign Trade. Additionally, Villar served as a member of the research group at Fedesarrollo.

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Ernesto Viola

CFO, Banco Colpatria del Grupo Scotiabank

Ernesto Viola is CFO of Colpatria Bank of the Scotiabank Group. Before assuming his current responsibilities in August 2010, he was the financial planning and analysis manager at Colpatria who represented General Electric, a 49% shareholder of the bank. Previously, Viola worked at the consumer financial unit of GE in Argentina from June 2004 until March 2009. He began his financial career as a senior auditor at Price Waterhouse Coopers in Argentina. Viola earned his degree in public accounting from the University of Buenos Aires.

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Kevin Whitaker

U.S. Ambassador to Colombia

Kevin Whitaker is the United States ambassador to Colombia. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, he was previously deputy assistant secretary of state for South America in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Whitaker has served in the United Kingdom, Jamaica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, where he was deputy chief of mission from 2005 to 2007.

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LatAm Minute: Sebastián Briozzo sobre el crecimiento económico de Colombia

Thursday, June 18, 2015

El director de análisis para Latinoamérica en el Grupo de Calificaciones Soberanas de Standard & Poor’s hace proyecciones sobre el futuro inmediato de la economía colombiana....

Read More

Video: Bogota 2015 – Colombian Trade Performance and Free Trade Agreements

June 10, 2015

Panelists discussed the performance of the principal free trade agreements signed by Colombia....

Video: Bogota 2015 – Colombia in the Eyes of Wall Street

June 10, 2015

Panelists talked about what has been affecting Colombia's economy and which measures would make the country more attractive for investors....

Video: Bogota 2015 – Mauricio Cárdenas on Recent Fiscal Results and Outlook

June 10, 2015

The minister of finance says despite economic slowdown, Colombia has the right policies in place to move the country forward. ...

Video: Bogota 2015 – Global Outlook and Effects on the Colombian Economy

June 10, 2015

Fedesarrollo's Leonardo Villar spoke about a global slowdown in the economy and the effects on Colombia....

Video: Bogota 2015 – Macroeconomic Performance Outlook

June 10, 2015

ANIF's Sergio Clavijo talked about Colombia's economic adjustments facing falling oil prices and what's ahead for the country....


Download a PDF of the agenda.

Baje la agenda en español.

7:00 – 8:00 a.m.  Registration

8:00 – 8:30 a.m.  Welcoming Remarks

  • Ragnhild Melzi, Senior Director, Public Policy Programs and Corporate Relations, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

8:30 – 9:15 a.m.  External Outlook and the Effects on the Colombian Economy

9:15 – 9:30 a.m. The Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo Award for Public Policy Research 

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.  Coffee Break

10:00 – 10:45 a.m.  Macro-Economic Results and Outlook

10:45 – 11:30 a.m.  Recent Fiscal Results and Outlook

11:30 – 12:30 p.m.  Panel: Colombia in the Eyes of Wall Street

  • Sebastian Briozzo, Senior Director and Analytical Manager, Sovereign Ratings, Standard & Poor’s (Download his presentation)
  • Javier Murcio, Director of Emerging Markets, Portfolio Manager and Senior Sovereign Analyst, Standish Mellon Asset Management
  • Ernesto Viola, CFO, Colpatria Multibanca Grupo Scotiabank (Download his presentation)
  • Ragnhild Melzi, Senior Director, Public Policy Programs and Corporate Relations, Americas Society/Council of the Americas (moderator)

12:30 – 2:15 p.m.  Lunch

2:15 – 2:30 p.m.  Colombian Trade Performance and Free Trade Agreements

  • Sergio Clavijo, President, ANIF

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.  Panel: Evaluation of the Principal FTAs Signed by Colombia

  • Sergio Clavijo, President, ANIF (moderator)
  • Kevin Whitaker, United States Ambassador to Colombia
  • Kurt Kunz, Swiss Ambassador to Colombia
  • Eduardo Muñoz, Vice Minister of Trade, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism

*This agenda is preliminary. The names of the panelists on the agenda may change.