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Monday June 11, 2007

Facilitator Script – Morning Plenary Session

Prepared remarks of Israel Hernandez, Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service

Thank you Mr. Secretary Gutierrez.

Our next Plenary session entitled “The State of Competitiveness in the Western Hemisphere”.

Please welcome our speakers:

Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank;

Mr. Hernando de Soto, President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Lima, Peru;

Mr. Eduardo Solórzano Morales, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wal-Mart Mexico; and

Mrs. Ana Vilma de Escobar, the Vice President of El Salvador.

Before we begin, we have placed note cards on each of your tables. If you would like to ask questions, please write your questions on the note cards provided and pass them to program staff who will collect them during the course of the session.

We will now begin with remarks from the Moderator, Ambassador Luis Alberto Moreno.