As Prepared

Good afternoon. I want to thank the Chamber’s leaders Suzanne Clark and Myron Brilliant for agreeing to take on the massive undertaking of organizing the CEO Summit.

I also want to thank the inspiration and hard work of Neil and all our friends in the Chamber’s Americas division for making this event such a success.  I applaud as well all the speakers, sponsors, and participants.

It’s been a long road to the Ninth Summit, and we listened carefully to the views of private sector and civil society groups throughout.  You will see those views reflected in the political commitments on health, digital, climate change, clean energy, and democratic governance adopted by leaders.

Yesterday, President Biden outlined a new economic agenda for the hemisphere and announced the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity, a historic effort to drive our hemisphere’s economic recovery and deliver for our working people.

The historic initiative will be instrumental to deepening our economic cooperation and growing our economies from the bottom up and middle out. It will strengthen our supply chains, foster innovation, tackle the climate crisis, reinvigorate regional economic institutions and ensure sustainable and inclusive trade through better cooperation on customs facilitation, good regulatory processes and strong labor and environment standards.

We also announced new standalone economic initiatives to address systemic challenges in public health sector governance, improve supply chains among our partner countries, catalyzing more than $3.2 billion of investments for northern Central America, and equipping the region’s future workforce with the skills needed to lead in a climate-positive, 21st century green economy.

More specifically, I joined fellow coalition members, across ministries of economy, and leaders of the Pan American Health Organization and Organization of the American States to launch the Economic and Health Dialogue of the Americas.  This member-state regional initiative aims to build the political will and coordination to catalyze the recovery of the Western Hemisphere from the COVID-19 pandemic by addressing the systemic challenges in governance within the public health sector laid bare by the pandemic.

Panama, Costa Rica, and Dominican Republic have also joined in an Alliance for Development in Democracy (ADD) and have been collaborating with the United States on a host of issues including exploring what can be done together on supply chains for pharmaceuticals and medical devices. I am pleased the Chamber will be launching a CEO survey on supply chains and start in the ADD countries.

Visionary private sector leaders have joined forces to support the 100,000 Strong CLIMATE Alliance, including CAF: the Development Bank of Latin America, Grupo Energia de Bogota, Cementos Progreso, and Amazon.  These new 100K Strong initiatives will help equip the region’s future workforce with the skills needed to lead in a climate-positive, 21st century green economy.

We are also proud of the public-private efforts in Central America.  Yesterday Vice President Harris welcomed new companies to her Call to Action which now totals more than $3.2 billion in planned investment commitments for northern Central America.

The hard work of implementing these goals and commitments will continue after the Summit.  I encourage you to hold our feet to the fire when it comes to translating these goals into concrete actions that benefit people across the region.

The necessary follow-on meetings and ministerials will likely not attract the same kind of headlines but are where we will produce the changes the region needs.

Thank you again and I hope you enjoy the rest of the official Summit events and programs.

U.S. Department of State

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