Businesses need governments to grow.
And vice versa.
Public-private partnerships for business have been the protagonists of the XIV Ibero-American Business Meeting that is being held this week in Santo Domingo, as a prelude to the Ibero-American Summit.
Some 1,500 businessmen from Latin America, Spain and Portugal have met in the Dominican capital to share their experiences as investors in some of the 22 member countries of the Ibero-American community.
The meeting point between all of them has been a complicated global panorama – of accelerated inflation and commercial difficulties due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine – that has reduced, in recent months, the undertaking of new investments or the growth of those that already exist.
Antonio Garamendi, president of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE), commented at the opening of the meeting that in the face of uncertainty, alliances between companies and governments "play a determining role" for the growth of both sectors.
“We are placing emphasis on placing companies, and I mean the people who work for them, at the center of decisions for the future of Latin America”, he assured.
Garamendi has pointed out that companies are willing to participate in a joint effort with the States, once there is regulatory stability and defense of freedom for the private sector.
"Ibero-America needs its businessmen to clear up the ghost of the lost decade", added Andrés Allamand, Ibero-American Secretary General, in the same opening act of the meeting.
For the Chilean former foreign minister, public-private alliances must be a "coordinated and powerful" action to achieve sustained growth of both companies and countries.
The scenario that Allamand has outlined for entrepreneurs for the future is one that is based on economic growth that is maintained through environmental sustainability, but in which investments occur in politically inclusive environments and with measures that are socially viable.
Thus, the former foreign minister pointed out, companies will be busy fighting inequality and making the Ibero-American middle classes grow.
“We need companies that pay their workers the maximum and not the minimum,” he said.
Allamand has estimated that businessmen must pay attention to three factors to guarantee their growth in the future: the gender gap, the digital revolution with its new tools, and the energy transition towards renewables.
The Ibero-American secretary has insisted that both governments and investors must jointly move forward the economies of the countries.
He has pointed out that it is "absurd" when their differences interfere with the development of their inhabitants, when what both sectors seek is "fair and inclusive growth, which leaves absolutely no one behind."
The Vice President of the Dominican Republic, Raquel Peña, has set the example of her country regarding cooperation between the public and private sectors to contribute to the development of the country.
Peña has assured that after the covid-19 pandemic, in the Caribbean country these alliances have achieved a boost, mainly for the tourism industry.
"It is extremely necessary that international financial structures be evaluated in order to achieve post-pandemic recovery," requested the Dominican vice president.
The business meetings will last until Friday with the delivery of the Ibero-American Quality Award and a discussion with the heads of state of the countries that are part of the Ibero-American Summit.