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Americas Competitiveness Forum Update

Education and small business development are two of the four areas of focus at this June’s Americas Competitiveness Forum in Atlanta, Georgia.

by David Weems

With registered attendees from 20 countries already confirmed, the upcoming Americas Competitiveness Forum is looking to fulfill its promise of being a “a launching pad for a continued, practical dialogue on competitiveness in the Western Hemisphere.” The forum, hosted by Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez, is scheduled to take place June 11–12, 2007, in Atlanta, Georgia.

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In last month’s International Trade Update, two of the four issue areas at the forum—innovation and supply-chain strategies—were explored. Here is a look at the details of the other two issue areas: creating solutions in education and workforce development and fostering small business development and growth.

Creating Solutions in Education and Workforce Development’

The relationship among education, training, and workforce development and the crucial role those factors play in strengthening competitiveness will be the focus for the education track of the forum. Specialists in the field of economic development, members from the academic community, and representatives from creative public–private partnerships will engage government officials and each other in a series of panel discussions from both topical and regional perspectives. Four panels will be featured: “Building a Bridge: The Link between Education and Business,” “Maximizing Public–Private Partnerships,” “The Global Model: What Can We Learn from Other Regions?” and “The Quality of Education in the Americas.”

Fostering Small Business Development and Growth

The goal of the small business track will be to identify tangible ways to facilitate business creation and growth. Panelists will discuss ways to make financing more available for small businesses, to minimize the regulatory obstacles involved in starting and operating a business, and to encourage a regional spirit of entrepreneurialism. Three panels will be featured: “Financing,” “Shaping the Business Environment through Innovative Policies,” and “Entrepreneurship.”

More information about the panels and a detailed agenda of the entire two-day forum are available on the Americas Competitiveness Forum’s Web site.

David Weems is an international trade specialist with the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit.



For More Information

Information on the Americas Competitiveness Forum is available on the Web at Registration can also be made through the Web site. Information on the forum agenda, speakers, and panelists will be updated on a regular basis, and questions about the forum can be submitted through the site. Questions regarding the Americas Competitiveness Forum can also be directed to Alysia Wilson of the ITA’s Market Access and Compliance unit, tel.: (202) 482-5327; e-mail: