IDB taps private sector help for Mesoamerica integration

Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno during the opening ceremony of the Mesoamerican Business Forum in Panama. Photo by: Arlette Pedraglio / IDB

In a prelude to this year’s annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno has teamed up with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, whose country hosts the meeting, to launch an initiative designed to boost integration in Mesoamerica.

On March 13, the two inaugurated the Mesoamerican Business Forum in Panama City. More than 250 business leaders and government officials in Mesoamerica gathered at the event to talk about the private sector’s role in driving trade integration in the region.

“Inspired by the example of Panama and the canal expansion, let’s work together with urgency and commitment to transform Mesoamerica into an integrated region and the preferred destination for industry, innovation, and trade,” said Moreno at the event.

Forum participants discussed investment prospects and challenges in heightening trade relations within Mesoamerica and with other regions. This debate is set to take center stage in the coming years, with the completion of the Panama canal’s expansion in 2015.

On the same day, IDB also hosted a high-level breakfast where some of the region’s business and government leaders mulled over the framework for establishing a regional, high-level private sector dialogue mechanism to lay the groundwork for the next CEO Summit of the Americas in 2015.

Engaging the private sector in development is a topic expected to dominate discussions at IDB’s 54th annual meeting, which starts today. Devex will be there to speak with thought leaders and movers in global development. Come visit us on the conference grounds!

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About the author

  • Johanna Morden

    Johanna Morden is a community development worker by training and a global development journalist by profession. As a former Devex staff writer based in Manila, she covered the Asian Development Bank as well as Asia-Pacific's aid community at large. Johanna has written for a variety of international publications, covering social issues, disasters, government, ICT, business, and the law.