- Table of Contents
- Full Issue in PDF
- Trade Delegation to China Sees Opportunities, Challenges in the Clean-Energy Sector
- A Prosperous Trading Partner Looks for U.S. Products and Know-How
- Building a Prosperous and Sustainable Future for the Americas
- Short Takes
- Trade Calendar
- Featured Trade Event: Trade Mission to Iraq
Building a Prosperous and Sustainable Future for the Americas
In 2009, leaders from throughout the Western Hemisphere met in Santiago, Chile, to participate in the third Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF). The fourth ACF will be held November 14–16 in Atlanta, Georgia. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)
The fourth Americas Competitiveness Forum, which is a unique gathering of representatives from market-based economies throughout the Western Hemisphere, is scheduled to take place November 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.
by Peter Bowman
The fourth Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF), which is a gathering of representatives from countries throughout the Western Hemisphere, is set to take place November 14–16, 2010, in Atlanta, Georgia. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke will convene the meeting along with Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta, CIFAL Atlanta (a United Nations affiliate organization), and other stakeholders from throughout the region.
The ACF is an initiative co-hosted by the Department of Commerce. It grew out of a commitment made by the United States at the November 2005 Summit of the Americas to cooperate to advance common prosperity, combat inequality, and achieve sustainable economic growth.
Since that time, the ACF has established itself as the preeminent economic and commercial event in the Americas. It attracts approximately 1,000 participants from the Western Hemisphere’s public and private sectors, including heads of state; ministers of economy, commerce, trade, and industry; and leaders from academia, civil society, and business.
Unique Blend of Policy and Business
The ACF distinguishes itself from other international gatherings by presenting a unique blend of policy dialogue on national, regional, and local best practices in competitiveness. It combines this dialogue with business-to-business and business-to-government interaction.
This year, ACF attendees will focus on four main topics: (a) innovation and green technologies; (b) education and workforce development; (c) entrepreneurship and small business development; and (d) trade facilitation, border clearance, and supply-chain logistics.
Opportunities for Business Interaction
For More Information
Additional information on the fourth annual Americas Competitiveness Forum, as well as registration instructions, can be found on the forum’s Web site at www.competitivenessforum.com.
This year, the ACF will offer ways to explore new business models and to hear about innovative practices and experiences that are designed to create jobs, to increase trade and investment, and to enhance hemispheric productivity. In addition, during the three-day event, the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) will facilitate tailored business-to-business and business-to-government meetings, which will promote export opportunities and other business partnerships. During ACF 2008, ITA provided more than 200 one-on-one export-counseling sessions.
ACF participants will also hear firsthand from numerous foreign government officials about new trade and investment opportunities in the region. These targeted market-opportunity sessions and one-on-one business-counseling sessions will focus on small and medium-sized enterprises and will provide numerous avenues for companies to develop trade and investment opportunities with governments and companies throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Growing Institutional Commitment
The United States hosted the forum for its first two years, and since then, it has grown to attract institutional commitments from a variety of national and regional organizations. The third ACF, which convened in September 2009, was held for the first time outside the United States, hosted by Chile’s Ministry of Economy in Santiago, Chile.
That same year, the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development of the Organization of American States (OAS) formally joined ACF and took responsibility for coordinating the future actions of the region’s public and private competitiveness councils. As a result, the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (IACN) was officially launched with support from the participating governments and the OAS. The first annual meeting of the IACN will be held at this year’s ACF to encourage the implementation of joint initiatives to strengthen and promote competitiveness in the Americas.
Peter Bowman is an international economist in the Market Access and Compliance unit of the International Trade Administration.
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