Three Latin American presidents called for inclusive growth in the region through comprehensive reforms at the opening of the 2013 World Economic Forum on Latin America which is taking place in Lima, Peru.
Presidents Ollanta Humala of Peru, Ricardo Martinelli of Panama and Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico joined Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, in a discussion on their approaches to ensure sustained economic growth and regional progress.
Despite some national differences, Mexico, Panama and Peru exemplify countries whose governments are pushing comprehensive reform agendas and implementing public policies to bring about economic growth and inclusive prosperity at all levels of society.
President Humala explained that his mission for Peru is to grow economically and distribute this growth throughout society. His credo of “social inclusion as a result of growth, and growth as a result of social inclusion” was echoed by both Presidents Peña Nieto and Martinelli.
All three countries are implementing economic and financial reforms that permit greater private sector competition domestically and draw growing investment from abroad. Social policies in healthcare, nutrition and education are contributing to better living standards, greater social mobility and more economic opportunity, especially for the poor. A political system of participatory democracy invites dialogue among different stakeholders on the nature of reforms and ways to implement them successfully.
The sustained growth of Peru, Panama and Mexico, resulting from these policies and their integration into the regional and global economies through tax treaties and free trade agreements, is changing the status of Latin America in the global context. President Martinelli observed that “Latin America is no longer a mere spectator… but a player” on the international stage.
The co-chairs of the meeting reflect the international character of the participants: Baroness Valerie Amos, Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations, New York; Global Agenda Council on Catastrophic Risks; Michel M. Liès, Group Chief Executive Officer, Swiss Re, Switzerland; Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, GDF SUEZ, France; Carlos Rodríguez-Pastor, Chairman, Intercorp, Peru; Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, US.