The first conference day on the 8th of October took place under the title “Everything remains different – Current Latin American Economic Development”. In his welcoming address, the German Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier stressed the importance of trade between the regions: “Latin America has a great importance for the EU as well as for Germany itself. The MERCOSUR-Agreement offers an important opportunity for all parties involved. It opens up economic perspectives and at the same time it contains an ambitious chapter on sustainable development with binding regulations on labour, the environment and the climate.
As keynote speakers, high-ranking representatives of Latin American financial institutions presented their views on the Latin American financial markets: Lic. Carlos Gómez, Managing Director of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, Tegucigalpa, Dr. Luc Grillet, Senior Manager of the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) in Panama-City and Lic. Javier Guzmán, Deputy Governor of the Mexican Bank in Mexico-City. The European view of the Latin American economy was added by Michael Spiegel, Chairman of the Network Banking at Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt am Main. The keynote speakers made statements on demographic and macroeconomic data in Latin America. What they all had in common was that the positive prospects and economic upswing in Latin America, despite shortages and risks in the region as well as current macroeconomic conditions in the world economy. The subsequent main panel of the conference was moderated by Andreas Meier, member of the LAV Executive Committee, Chief Investment Officer Europe at Lombard International Assurance S.A. in Luxembourg.
In the following three parallel forums we had an interesting exchange about the following topics: Smart Cities, Mechanical Engineering and Health Care.
The first forum dealt with Smart Cities - and the current developments in Latin America. Most of the projects are pushed by the private sector and the population. Today, planning in Latin America often lacks a certain "staying power". In addition, the required long-term nature of the projects often reaches its limits due to political circumstances and the structures/interests of the administrations.
In the second Forum, Mechanical Engineering "Position of German Companies in Latin America?", the companies on the podium outlined the current developments in the mechanical engineering sector. In their opinion, topics such as occupational safety have become much more important in the last few years. China continues to be a strong competitor in Latin America - even if the offerings of German companies often exceed those of the Chinese. In terms of legal regulations, Latin America has an international average - although there are major differences between the individual countries in the region.