November 15, 2018
CEOE-CEIB, OIE & CACIF deliver recommendations of the XXIX Ibero-American Summit
After the second and last day of the Ibero-American Business Meeting, the Vice President of Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain (CEOE) and President of CEPYME, Antonio Garamendi; the president of the International Organization of Employers, Erol Kiresepi; and the president of the Guatemalan business organization, Marco Augusto Garcia Noriega, presented the recommendations to the heads of state and government at the end of the Ibero-American Summit, which was held in La Antigua, Guatemala. After the closing of the Meeting, the award ceremony of the Ibero-American Quality Award was presented, with the participation of His Majesty Felipe VI, King of Spain, and the President of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales; accompanied by Antonio Garamendi, Marco Augusto Garcia Noriega and the Ibero-American General Secretary, Rebeca Grynspan.
During the Meeting, the presidents and top managers of the main companies of the region took part in the conference to discuss issues such as the digital ecosystem, a strategic pillar for economic growth; future trends in philanthropy, a panel in which social impact investment and human capital were addressed; sustainability as a key element in the strategy of corporate citizenship; and women and economic power. Then, several heads of state and government exchanged ideas on the most relevant aspects of the day.
Challenges in Latin America
The vice president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, said during the meeting that in the case of Ibero-America, the focus given to the role that companies must play in the 2030 Agenda acquires greater importance, if one considers the atomization of the business and its problems of productivity. In fact, he reported that 10 of the 11 million economic units in the region are MSMEs that only employ one worker; 47% of the active population, that is, 135 million people, work in the informal sector; and the average per capita growth rate of real GDP in Latin America and the Caribbean was 2.40% per year between 1960 and 2017, a figure that places the region below Asia (4.86%) and even below from the rest of the world (2.60%).
In this sense, Garamendi highlighted the need to grow at 5% or 6% over the next twenty years to reduce poverty and allow the region to leap in income levels. Therefore, development in the region will depend, in his words, on how to overcome the problems that have not permitted greater economic performance in the region, such as the imperfections of the financial market, the unequal tax regime, the defective application of labor regulations, high entry costs and other barriers to competition, or the lack of training and innovation.
The president of the Organizing Committee of the XII Ibero-American Business Meeting, Antonio Malouf, emphasized that entrepreneurs have an authentic and transcendental role in the construction of more solid and prosperous societies. In this sense, he admitted that it is an enormous merit to be an entrepreneur, but that it is even more “to work for the development of our countries from our sectors and fields of action”.
Malouf explained that the 2030 Agenda already indicates where to go, and although it would have been necessary to organize it better in terms of how to get there, efforts such as the organization of this event, led by CEOE-CEIB, SEGIB and CACIF, represent a great step and a bridge that erases the barriers that often separate us. In addition, he assured that 713 million people trust their leaders, which undoubtedly implies the intervention of the rulers. He also spoke of working more closely for public-private partnerships, which are a model of innovation that if promoted with transparency can radically change the living conditions of the people.
Secretary General of SEGIB, Rebeca Grynspan stressed that “sustainable development is not only necessary and fair but also profitable. We must build more integration through the deepening of the commercial fabric. “He also referred to the issue of automation and described alarming forecasts about unemployment that will generate the implementation of new technologies. “I think there will be an expansion of new technologies that can unleash great productivity. What is needed is more and better training, “said Grynspan.
In this regard, she warned that the private sector and the government should work together to improve the trust of citizens in the institutions, which has suffered great wear and tear due to corruption and the inequity of current economic models. “79% of Latin Americans believe that it is governed by a few and 84% are dissatisfied with their economy. “If we fail to convince our citizens that our social and economic model works we will have a breeding ground for populism and nationalism”, she said.
For a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable Ibero-America
The president of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales, stressed during his speech that he hopes that the Summit will consolidate the momentum of a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable Ibero-America that will help growth in the region. He also stressed that “my government is committed to improve the business climate and boost competitiveness, to generate more investment and employment.” In fact, the speakers agreed with the president of Guatemala in his commitment to the commitment of businessmen to contribute to the equitable and inclusive development of countries and the convenience of nations opening their borders for the passage of people and goods.
November 14, 2018
CEOE-CEIB, SEGIB and CACIF inaugurate the XII Ibero-American Business Meeting in La Antigua, Guatemala
The President of the Republic of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales; the vice president of CEOE and president of CEPYME, Antonio Garamendi; the Ibero-American General Secretary, Rebeca Grynspan; the president of CACIF (employer of Guatemala), Marco Augusto García Noriega; and the president of the Organizing Committee of the XII Ibero-American Business Meeting, Antonio Malouf; inaugurated today in La Antigua, Guatemala, the XII Ibero-American Business Encounter. The event, organized by the Ibero-American Business Council, CEIB; the Ibero-American General Secretariat, Segib and the Guatemalan employers, Cacif, under the slogan “Central America invites you, Antigua Guatemala receives you”, is the official business event of the XXVI Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government.
XXIX Meeting of Ibero-American Business Organizations
On the second and final day of the XXIX Meeting of Ibero-American Business Organizations, prior to the opening of the meeting, topics such as multilateralism and bilateralism were analyzed: the rules of the game in a changing environment, and access to women to direct positions and opportunities in the Ibero-American labor market.
At the end of the meeting, all the presidents and representatives of Ibero-American Business Organizations agreed on a document of conclusions that was transferred to the XII Ibero-American Business Meeting and presented to the Heads of State and Government. The meeting also included the participation of the permanent secretary of the Council of Iberoamerican Entrepreneurs (CEIB), Narciso Casado Martin, who took stock of the council’s activity in the last year and proposed a plan for the future to the attendees. The event was closed by the Vice President of CEOE and President of CEPYME, Antonio Garamendi; the president of the OIE, Erol Kisepi; and the president of CACIF, Marco Augusto García Noriega.
Among the activities that took place within the framework of the Summit, it is worth mentioning the conference under the slogan “The Ibero-American Space as an open innovation platform” where the vice president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi; the Ibero-American General Secretary, Rebeca Grynspan; the president of the Organizing Committee of the XII Ibero-American Business Meeting, Antonio Malouf; and the president of CEAJE, Fermín Albaladejo; discussed about cases of open innovation in multinational companies and start-ups, as an investment opportunity or corporate funds in Ibero-America.
During his speech at the event, Antonio Garamendi highlighted the poor performance in innovation in the region, which contributes to the scarce economic diversification and the limited weight of medium and high technology products in the region’s total production and export. For this reason, said Garamendi, the adoption of ambitious policies and measures accompanied by a greater investment effort is required. In fact, “this need acquires greater importance in the current digital revolution, which opens up a new horizon of opportunities for our economies if we know how to take advantage of them”, he added.
Antonio Garamendi explained that from the CEOE a Decalogue of Urgent Measures was presented to promote R + D + i in Spain, in which a “political pact for R & D & I is proposed, with the aim of placing support for activities related to this area in the axis of Government policies. Likewise, it is committed to the simplification of legislative and bureaucratic procedures; facilitate technology transfer, improve financing by adapting it to the reality of the markets; adapt university study plans and professional training that respond to the needs of companies; or promote the protection of innovation through industrial and intellectual property; among other measures.
XII Ibero-American Business Meeting
During the first day of the meeting, after the aforementioned activities, the contribution of the private sector to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development was analyzed. In this area, the speakers talked about the private sector as a development agent, the SDGs as a business opportunity for companies, decent work and inclusive economic growth, and companies in the fourth sector, which are engines for sustainable development. They also presented trade and investment as elements of prosperity and development, reviewing the obstacles to trade in Latin America, the challenges for the future and the facilitation of trade in Central America, and analyzing investment in innovation as a factor of competitiveness. and logistics as a key element in regional integration. Foreign trade and the internationalization of companies in a world in constant change , focused on three topics of interest, such as Guatemala, direct investment destination and trade; Mexico, the commercial perspectives beyond the FTA; and the conclusions and recommendations of the B20 in Argentina.
The Vice President of CEOE explained that the 2030 Agenda is an explicit recognition by the international community of the important role that companies must play in achieving the objectives of sustainable development. “Their ability to manage and mobilize human talent, capital and knowledge make them essential actors for achieving the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda,” he said. He also highlighted the express recognition of economic growth, public-private partnerships, private investment, trade and social dialogue as essential factors to promote and guarantee sustainable development in the 21st century.
Garamendi reported on the important role of the Iberoamerican Business Council (CEIB) in organizing every year the Summit of Presidents of Ibero-American Business Organizations and the Ibero-American Business Meeting, in collaboration with SEGIB. He pointed out that CEIB’s main objective is to represent Ibero-American businessmen at the Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government, as well as before the main multilateral and regional institutions. “It is, thanks to the 22 most representative business organizations in the region, Spain and Portugal, an unparalleled platform in the Ibero-American community, which allows strengthening business ties, exchange good practices and develop joint initiatives,” he said.
November 13, 2018
CEOE-CEIB, OIE and CACIF organize the XXIX Meeting of Presidents of Ibero-American Business Organizations
The vice president of CEOE and president of CEPYME, Antonio Garamendi; the president of the OIE, Erol Kisepi; the president of CACIF, Marco Augusto García Noriega; and Secretary of State for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean, Juan Pablo de la Iglesia and González de Peredo; inaugurated the XXIX Meeting of Presidents of Ibero-American Business Organizations. The meeting held in La Antigua, Guatemala, was attended by the Ibero-American General Secretary, Rebeca Grynspan, who gave a welcome speech to the Presidents and representatives of the 23 most important Business Organizations of the Region.
The XXIX Meeting of Presidents of Ibero-American Business Organizations was divided into five panels where the presidents and top representatives of the main Ibero-American business organizations from Argentina (UIA), Bolivia (CPB), Brazil (CNI), Colombia (ANDI) , Chile (CPC), Costa Rica (UCCAEP), El Salvador (ANEP), Guatemala (CACIF), Honduras (COHEP), Mexico (CONCAMIN and COPARMEX), Nicaragua (COSEP), Panama (CONEP), Peru (CONFIEP), Dominican Republic (COPARDOM), Uruguay (CIU and CNCS) and Venezuela (FEDECAMARAS) participated. Likewise, representatives of the OIE, CEAJE, FUNDACOM, CAEB or the International Labor Organization (ILO) also participated.
During the meeting, issues such as: the digital economy and the future of companies, transparency and integrity for productivity and economic growth in Latin America, the contribution and progress of the private sector to the SDGs in the region, multilateralism and bilateralism, the rules of the game in a changing environment and women’s access to direct positions and opportunities in the Ibero-American labor market, were discussed. At the end of the meeting, consensus was reached between all the Presidents and representatives of Ibero-American Business Organizations, and a brief of conclusions was transferred to the XII Ibero-American Business Meeting and presented to the Heads of State and Presidents of the Government, on November 15.
It is also worth mentioning the participation of the permanent secretary of the Council of Iberoamerican Entrepreneurs (CEIB), Narciso Casado Martin, who informed about the council’s activity in the last year and proposed a plan for the future to the attendees. The event is closed by the CEOE 2030 Agenda
The vice president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi opted for the improvement of quality of institutions, which implies having clearer and faster judicial systems, strong and independent control bodies, greater regulatory quality and more efficient and transparent public institutions in their daily operations.
He also referred to the 2030 Agenda, since it can represent a good opportunity for companies. He recalled that in the International Forum on Agenda 2030 that was held in Madrid last October in collaboration with the OIE, it was found that the dialogue between the private sector and multilateral, regional and national institutions should be in both directions and be carried out in a cooperation framework. Likewise, Garamendi also focused on business development, through the improvement of the business climate and institutional quality; the articulation of flexible public-private partnerships adapted to the circumstances; and the application of financial instruments that boost investments in the productive fabric, infrastructure and innovation.
Access of women to management positions
Antonio Garamendi also insisted that business organizations should play a clear leadership role in promoting gender equality at work and, especially, in the incorporation of women in key positions. In this regard, he pointed out that CEOE has wanted to contribute effectively to the incorporation of women into the management positions of companies, through the Promociona Project. This initiative was launched in 2013, and for the time being, 438 women have participated, of which 45% have already achieved management positions.
Rules of commerce
The vice-president of CEOE appealed to business organizations to bet univocally and firmly for multilateralism as the best way to economic development, and for investment and trade to be inspired and based on shared rules. However, he explained that such multilateralism should not go against regional integration or bilateral agreements.
In this sense, Garamendi, highlighted that it is essential that Ibero-American business organizations support regional integration processes such as MERCOSUR, the Pacific Alliance or SICA; and support the trade negotiations that the EU continues with MERCOSUR, Chile and Mexico.
During the panel focused on the digital economy and the future of business, Garamendi stressed that in the work will prevail, with the increasing automation and use of artificial intelligence, talent, imagination, communication skills, flexibility and mobility. He assured that “we are dedicated to a digital, hyperconnected and intelligent society, the information society”. In this sense, he added that digitalization implies gains in competitiveness, growth, innovation, leadership and employment, if it is undertaken as a collective project with a vision of the future. Garamendi insisted that the use of digital technologies is absolutely essential, but it is also necessary to promote the cultural transformations that digitalization implies, since it represents a change in the way of living.
The vice president of CEOE spoke that in order to benefit from the advantages offered by technological transformation in Ibero-America, three essential pillars must be adopted to boost digitalization, such as education, innovation and entrepreneurship. He also explained that we must take into account three main actors, which are public administrations, the different productive sectors and citizenship.
Garamendi also stressed that business organizations should lead the processes of social and economic transformation to ensure that the needs of companies are taken into account in the definition and development of policies. For this reason, he said, it is crucial for organizations to highlight the social and economic advantages of digitalization and encourage the adoption of policies that allow for their full development. Garamendi informed that CEOE, in its intention that Spain was not left behind in a technological race that determined the prosperity of nations, presented through the Digital Plan 2025 a set of 24 strategies and 285 measures.
Education, innovation and entrepreneurship
The vice president of CEOE said that education, innovation and entrepreneurship, because of its transversality, are essential to promote digitalization. In terms of education and training, he considers to prioritize the transformation of the education system to adapt it to the new digital society. For this, according to his words, it is necessary to focus on learning, on the use of new technologies and on the promotion of STEM vocations (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), in order to overcome the divergence that is producing between demand and supply in the labor market.
With regard to innovation, Garamendi stressed the need to reinforce spending on R & D, in order to enhance the development of digital technologies, as well as permeabilizing relations between universities, technology centers, companies and funders.
In the field of entrepreneurship, he suggested fostering digital entrepreneurship through education, innovation and specific fiscal policies, in addition to facilitating digital ecosystems that stimulate autonomous activity and thus favor the creation of start-ups and so-called “unicorns”.
Extracted and translated from Spanish