#BRAVOBiz 2022: Global Trends Driving Business in Latin America

Gaston Bottazzini, Fernando Iraola, Andrew H. Martin, and Cristina Palmaka explained how the private sector can lead in the face of global crises.


  • Gaston Bottazzini, CEO, Falabella
  • Fernando Iraola, Global Co-Head of Large Corporates GTS, Head of Latin America Corporate Banking and Global Transaction Services, Bank of America
  • Andrew H. Martin, President, Latin America Cluster, Pfizer Inc.
  • Cristina Palmaka, President, SAP Latin America & Caribbean
  • Andres Gluski, CEO, The AES Corporation & Chairman, AS/COA
  • Susan Segal, President & CEO, AS/COA
  • Cecilia Tornaghi, Managing Editor, Americas Quarterly

“The business community has remained resilient, optimistic, and persistent in its quest to solve problems and inspire upcoming generations across the Americas," said Susan Segal to kick off the 27th COA Symposium and BRAVO Business Awards. Her welcoming remarks were followed by a panel entitled, "Business Continuity & Evolution in a World of Economic and Political Disruptions," that dug into the challenges she outlined.

“If there is a region that can manage through this cycle [of uncertainty], it’s this one. We are unfortunately used to living with inflation. We are used to dealing with crisis. We are used to living with volatility," said Fernando Iraola on why he thinks Latin American can thrive in the current moment. Panelists discussed how challenges—like the Covid-19 pandemic, globalization, and digitialization—present opportunities for business to be part of the solution.

Gaston Bottazzini, whose company Falabella was an early adaptor to the digital marketplace, explained how his firm is working to correct for the downside of one global trend. “The digital transformation is leaving a lot of people out of digital markets," explained Bottazzini. "There is a responsibility on all of us as companies to think about the re-skilling process," he concluded. Andrew H. Martin agreed and highlighted how surmounting these new realities calls for a new era of cooperation, and says that new governments are demonstrating "receptivity to engaging in private-public partnerships that are designed to advance the implementation of health care solutions."

In a BRAVO Leadership Conversation, Cristina Palmaka told AS/COA's Cecilia Tornaghi how Latin America's private sector can take advantage of global uncertainty to harness its unique assets. “Latin America is known not just for having ideas but for the power to make it happen," she explained. In sectors like agribusiness, renewable energy, natural resources, and human talent, the region is "blessed" she said, but it needs to leverage private-sector cooperation and support from the public sector to thrive. Businesses, she noted, have a particular responsibility to push for ethical, responsible, and sustainable practices. “You are accountable for everything that happens end-to-end," she said.