by Peter Bowman, an international trade specialist in The International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit.
The fifth Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF), the preeminent economic and commercial event in the Western Hemisphere, will take place October 5–7, 2011, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The ACF grew out of a commitment made by the United States in November 2005 at the Summit of the Americas held at Mar del Plata, Argentina, to cooperate to advance common prosperity, combat inequality, and achieve sustainable economic growth throughout the hemisphere. The first gathering was held in Atlanta, Georgia, in June 2007.
Since then, the ACF has worked to inspire programs, policies, and partnerships that will improve the economic prosperity at the local, national, and regional levels and, thereby, ensure a brighter future for all people in the region.
This year, the fifth ACF is expected to bring together more than 1,000 public- and private-sector participants from throughout the Western Hemisphere. Representatives from more than 34 countries will attend, including heads of state; ministers of economy, industry, and finance; academic leaders; and members of civil society and business.
The ACF distinguishes itself from other international gatherings by presenting a unique blend of public–private policy dialogue on best practices in competitiveness and by offering many services for participating businesses. Services include export counseling sessions, market opportunity sessions, and business-to-business (and business-to-government) meetings.
Each ACF program is built around key themes that represent the drivers of competitiveness. The core themes of this year’s ACF are education, renewable energy, trade facilitation, business climate, and innovation in services.
This year, the ACF will also host a meeting of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network, which was launched at the 2009 ACF in Santiago, Chile, with support from the participating governments and the Organization of American States (OAS). In addition, Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas, an initiative that promotes inclusive growth, prosperity, and social justice, will host a working group meeting with the Inter-American Development Bank, the OAS, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean as strategic partners.
For more information on the fifth Americas Competitiveness Forum, as well as registration instructions, visit the forum’s Web site at www.competitivenessforum.com. For additional information, contact Peter Bowman in the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit, tel.: (202) 482-8356; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.