Uniting Continents: The Economic and Ecological Future between the United States, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific

Eddy Simaj
July 2, 2024

Official Photo: Former Presidents, Panelists, and Members of the LACPM from the Event Prospects for Greater Economic and Cultural Engagements: Latin America – USA – Asia/Pacific Region

Coral Gables, Florida — In a landmark event aimed at strengthening international cooperation, leaders and experts from Latin America, the United States, and the Asia-Pacific region participated in a forum on “Perspectives for Greater Economic and Cultural Engagements: Latin America—U.S.—Asia-Pacific Region.” Organized by the Latin American and Caribbean Presidential Mission, Fundación Esquipulas, Global Peace Foundation, Fundación para el Ecodesarrollo y la Conservación, Instituto de Desarrollo del Pensamiento Patria Soñada, Chaco Vivo, World Affairs Council Miami, and the Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions, the event aimed to explore and expand collaboration opportunities between these dynamic regions.

The event was opened by Marcos Regalado, member of the Board of Directors of the Latin American Presidential Mission, who emphasized the importance of the participation of former presidents and leaders in discussions on economic freedom and strategic green cooperation.

During the inaugural speech, Thomas Field, President of the Latin American Presidential Mission and a representative of GPF in Latin America, reflected on the evolution of the forum and its impact on strengthening transcontinental ties.

A highlight of the convening was the keynote address by former Guatemalan President Vinicio Cerezo, who is also a founding member of the Latin American Presidential Mission. In his speech, he advocated for greater economic and cultural commitment, emphasizing Latin America’s strategic position on the global stage and the importance of collaboration for sustainable and prosperous development.

Innovation and Sustainability at the Heart of the Debate: Two Panels to Build Bridges between Latin America, the United States, and the Asia-Pacific

These panels reflected the importance of international cooperation and strategic alliances to address global economic and environmental challenges, strengthening ties, and promoting more sustainable and equitable development among the involved regions.

Panel I: Economic Freedom Model in the Asia-Pacific Region

Five men in suits stand in a row holding signs that read

Official Photo of Panel I, from left to right: Anthony Kim, Research Fellow and Editor, The Heritage Foundation, Washington D.C.; Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, Former President of Bolivia, LACMP; Gustavo Leite, Senator, Former Minister of Industry & Commerce, Paraguay; Dr. Evan Ellis, Research Professor, U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, Washington D.C.; Federico Sosa, Economist, Former Director of Foreign Investment, REDIEX, Paraguay; Thomas Field, President LACM

Panel I, moderated by Anthony Kim, highlighted the importance of Taiwan as a model of democracy and economic freedom, crucial for strengthening cooperation and sustainable economic development among participating nations.

Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, former President of Bolivia and also a member of the Latin American Presidential Mission, emphasized the need to strengthen democratic institutions in Latin America to face challenges such as migration and crime, leveraging strategic alliances with the Asia-Pacific region.

Another significant participation was that of Gustavo Leite, Senator of Paraguay, who illustrated how collaboration in education and technology with Taiwan has driven Paraguay’s economic growth.

Evan Ellis, for his part, provided a geopolitical vision discussing Taiwan’s strategic presence in Latin America as an opportunity to counter China’s influence.

Finally, Federico Sosa underscored the crucial role of the private sector in creating robust economic ties, advocating for innovative approaches to attract investments.

This panel demonstrated that economic freedom and democracy are fundamental to sustainable development and that strategic alliances between the Americas and the Asia-Pacific can be a driving force for economic growth and regional stability.

Before Panel II, a message from Charles C.Y. Chou drew the attention of the attendees. He discussed Taiwan’s commitment to global sustainability, highlighting its role as a leader in environmental cooperation.

Margaret Sanchez, member of the Board of Directors of the Latin American Presidential Mission, presented Panel II. In her message, she highlighted how transcontinental collaboration accelerates the development of green technologies and addresses climate challenges.

Panel II: Strategic Geopolitical Green Cooperation

A group of seven people stands on a stage holding signs with various phrases about the economic future. They are dressed in business and business casual attire, smiling, with a backdrop of banners behind them.

Official Photo of Panel II, from left to right: Marcos Regalado, Member of LACPM; Vince Lago, Mayor of Coral Gables, Florida; Jamil Mahuad, Former President of Ecuador, Member of LACPM; Olinda Salguero, President, Esquipulas Foundation, Representative, Global Peace Foundation Central America; Kiantar Betancourt, President, Atenil S.A. (Chaco Vivo), Paraguay; Marco Cerezo, Director, FUNDAECO, Guatemala; Thomas Field, President LACMP

In Panel II, Olinda Salguero, President of Fundación Esquipulas and a representative for GPF Central America, articulated the relevance of strategic alliances in promoting green initiatives for sustainable growth.

In this panel, the message from a former president of Ecuador, Jamil Mahuad, a member of the Presidential Mission, focused on his experience in biodiversity conservation in Ecuador and called for innovative solutions that respect biodiversity and promote balanced development.

Vince Lago, Mayor of Coral Gables, Florida, demonstrated how local green policies can improve the environment and increase the economic value of communities.

Marco Cerezo, Director of Fundaeco, highlighted the co-benefits of these initiatives, such as providing scholarships for rural girls and protecting endangered species, illustrating how market-based mechanisms can effectively address environmental challenges.

For Kiantar Betancourt, president of Atenil S.A. in Paraguay, the livestock industry has been a primary driver of deforestation in the region, and he explained how his company has leveraged carbon credits to promote sustainable land use. He emphasized the importance of creating economic opportunities that align with environmental conservation.

The dialogue in this panel underscored that strategic and geopolitical cooperation on environmental issues is essential not only for environmental conservation but also for fostering economic development that is sustainable and beneficial for all parties involved.

This event overall not only underscored the importance of international cooperation in times of global challenges but also reaffirmed the commitment of leaders to foster a more prosperous and sustainable future. The active participation of prominent figures and experts provided a valuable space for dialogue and joint action, promising a lasting impact on economic and cultural relations between the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region.

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