Transparency and Sustainable Development Goals: central topics of the XXIX Meeting of Presidents of Ibero-American Business Organizations

Meetings of the Presidents of Ibero-American Business Organizations have been held for many years with the aim of encouraging the exchange of ideas and opinions between business leaders of the region

The city of Antigua (Guatemala) welcomed the XXIX Meeting of Presidents of Ibero-American Business Organizations on 13 and 14 November, organized by the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE) in collaboration with the Ibero-American Business Council (CEIB), and the Coordinating Committee for Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (CACIF).

The meeting, which was co-financed by the European Union and had the support of the Bureau for Employers' Activities of the ILO (ACT/EMP) brought together a large number of presidents and representatives of business organizations and leading institutions. The meeting was opened by the Secretary-General for Ibero-America, Ms. Rebeca Grynspan, with Mr. Juan Pablo de la Iglesia, State Secretary for International Cooperation for Ibero-America and the Caribbean; Mr. Erol Kiresepi, President of the IOE; Mr. Marco Augusto Garcia Noriega, President of CACIF, and Mr. Antonio Garamendi, Vice-president of CEOE.

The XXIX edition of the Meeting was held as part of the XII Ibero-American Business Meeting, organized by the General Secretariat for Ibero-America (SEGIB) in collaboration with the Ibero-American Business Council (CEIB), and the XXVI Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government, which met this year under the heading «A prosperous, inclusive and sustainable Ibero-America».

High level speakers to debate current issues in the region

Using a dialogue format, the moderators led five panels dealing with issues such as the digital economy and the future of business, transparency and integrity for productivity and economic growth in Ibero-America; the contribution and advances of the private sector with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; multilateralism and bilateralism, women's access to directorships and opportunities in the Ibero-American labour market.

Roberto Suárez Santos, Secretary-General of the IOE, headed two of the panels. This role was also played by Mr. Luis Gonzaga Cardenal, President of ANEP (El Salvador), Ms. Caterina Costa, President of the Board of Trade of Guayaquil (Ecuador), and Mr. Alberto Echavarría, Vice-president of Legal Affairs of ANDI (Colombia).

The panels included Presidents and top representatives of the main Business Organizations of Ibero-American countries such as Andorra (CEA), Argentina (UIA), Bolivia (CPB), Brazil (CNI), Colombia (ANDI), Chile (CPC), Costa Rica (UCCAEP), Ecuador (Board of Trade) El Salvador (ANEP), Spain (CEOE), Guatemala (CACIF), Honduras (COHEP), Mexico (CONCAMIN and COPARMEX), Nicaragua (COSEP), Panama (CONEP), Peru (CONFIEP), the Dominican Republic (COPARDOM), Uruguay (CIU and CNCS) and Venezuela (FEDECAMARAS).

The Antigua Declaration

The Meeting concluded with the approval of the Antigua Declaration, with which the Presidents of Business Organizations swore to act in two specific areas: improving transparency and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The full Declaration can be accessed from the Resources panel link.

The Presidents took the opportunity offered by the Declaration to make a new call to Heads of State and Governments to guarantee respect for human rights and free private initiatives in all countries of Ibero-America, particularly in light of the repeated and very serious violations seen on the continent in countries such as Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Erol Kiresepi, Marco Augusto Garcia Noriega and Antonio Garamendi handed the Declaration to the Heads of State and Governments as part of the XII Ibero-American Business Meeting on 15 November.

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