The President of CEOE, Juan Rosell, called for an education with an entrepreneurial undertone because “jobs will only be created with more and better companies” and not by degree, during his speech at the opening act of the Eleventh Ibero-American Business Meeting that was held in Cartagena de Indias, under the theme “Youth, Education and Entrepreneurship” and within the framework of the XXV Latin American Summit of Heads of State and Government that also took place in the Colombian city.

According to Juan Rosell, it is necessary to learn and educate with an entrepreneurial undertone and companies must be talked about in Schools, Universities and even kindergartens. It is not usually a topic of discussion, and if it is talked about it is usually in a negative tone, without anyone actually stating what it really is.  And society must convince itself and understand that education is the greatest strategic and social tool. He pointed out that poverty is fought with more and better education and, ultimately, with more and better companies.

In this regard, he said that we should take advantage of new technologies and digitalization to teach more and at a reasonable cost, so that investment is viable and that this should start right now, taking into account not just the youth but also older citizens. Thus, he underlined that we should educate with the future in mind. For this, he noted that we should train teachers, assess expenses and make families and students accountable, reminding them that, in addition to rights, there are responsibilities and obligations.

Meeting of Presidents of Ibero-American Business Organizations

Prior to the Business Meeting, Rosell opened the XXVII Meeting of Presidents of Business Organizations together with Bruce Mac Master, president of the National Association of Industries of Colombia-ANDI, and Daniel Funes de Rioja, President of the International Organization of Employers-IOE. The meeting was attended by 17 of the 22 presidents of the most important business institutions of Latin American countries, including the president of CEPYME, Antonio Garamendi, and the president of CEAJE, Fermín Albaladejo.

This meeting took place within the celebration of the XI Ibero-American Business Meeting, in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), concurring with the beginning of the XXV Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government. The session began with an overview of the economic, political, and social development of the region, to subsequently address the presentation of a report prepared by the International Labour Organization -ILO on Youth, Education and Entrepreneurship, the slogan of the XXV Ibero-American Summit. The presidents discussed the immediate challenges posed by the current Ibero-American context with regard to these important issues, whose conclusions – agreed upon by all the business organizations- were later included in a written report that was delivered on the 28th, to the 7 heads of State and Government that were attending the XI Ibero-American Business Meeting.

The Ibero-American Business Council showed its commitment by signing the International Youth Organization (OIJ)’s Youth Pact.  This endorsement tries to provide institutional support for young entrepreneurs from the Region on issues related to education, access to the labor market and entrepreneurship, among other issues.

SEGIB ‘s Secretary General (Ibero-American General Secretariat), Rebeca Grynspan, participated in the Presidents’ Meeting, with a speech on the commitment to continue collaborating closely with all the Institutions, CEIB, SEGIB and ILO. Proof of this commitment was the announcement of the next Ibero-American Summit for Small and Medium Enterprises, which will be held in Madrid, in 2017 and at CEOE’s facilities, as the permanent secretariat to the CEIB.

Narciso Casado ratified as the Permanent Secretary to the CEIB

The president of the CEIB business organizations ratified the appointment of CEOE’s Director of the International Relations Department, Narciso Casado, as Permanent Secretary to the CEIB.

At the Meeting, there were also other topics of interest discussed such as the digitalization of companies, since the digital economy is a reality that is changing the life of people and companies at tremendous speed, contributing to social and technological development of countries.

Digitalization can have a heavy impact on innovation and employment growth. Both are key growth factors for the Region’s economies. The development of digitization and the move towards more complex formulas that comprise not just network connectivity, but also access to content and information services, contribute to employment growth and, in turn, to the growth of the Region’s the economies.

The Permanent Secretariat to the CEIB also received from the member business organizations the express mandate to study and seek an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to promote the implementation of the ConnectAmericas platform in countries through the corresponding business leaders for the benefit, especially, of SMEs; and a mandate to finalize a collaboration agreement with Fundacom, the federation in charge of bringing together the Latin American associations of communication directors with the aim of recovering the strategic communication of content from the Summit’s business meetings.


The Presidents highlighted the following important issues in their conclusions:

The Latin American youth is the present and future of our societies.  They represent progress and innovation. A little over 30 per cent of the Latin American population lies within the 15-29 age range (108 million), over a total of more than 1.8 billion youths worldwide.

The Region is at a key moment to position young people as strategic actors for a social, economic, political and cultural transformation. This demographic reality is a window of opportunity for Latin American countries, i.e., there is a significant part of the population able to work, produce, save and invest. But, at the same time, it is a challenge, since, in the future, economies will require people to be trained in order to deal with the transformations that will enable them to take the final leap towards development.

The youth must be a central axis for Latin American institutions and for integrated and comprehensive public policies that must promote, in particular, education, entrepreneurship and investment.

Education is a key axis for development. More education enables an improvement in the social, economic and cultural conditions of countries. An increase in the coverage, level and quality of education for the population is associated with an improvement in other key factors for development and prosperity, such as productivity, competitiveness, social mobility, reducing poverty, building citizenship and social identity and, ultimately, strengthening social cohesion. Education, whether public or private, as well as vocational training, professional learning and internships within companies, play an essential role in enabling young people to enter the labor market and develop into adulthood.

The promotion of entrepreneurship and independent employment among young people is essential for them to not just look for a job after finishing school, but also create employment. Entrepreneurship is, in fact, one of the key variables for economic growth and its social value should be reinforced. The lack of specific skills, the difficult access to financing and to the markets, the complex and burdensome regulation may lead to young people giving up on their entrepreneurial attempts before these materialize or ending up in informal jobs.

The presidents of Latin American business organizations consider it essential to promote policies that encourage the development of the digital economy and the provision of connectivity services; the conditions for establishing and developing companies, including SMEs: to encourage learning, creation and access to networks, participation in the companies’ value chains, the creation of service points for the entrepreneur, the easing of costs, the shortening of the procedures previous to the establishment of a business, simplifying the processes to protect knowledge and also promote several forms of employment and incentives of various types for new companies so that they may be able to employ more young people.

Source: CEOE