Governor Rick Scott talks about the Latin America Summit
Hosted by the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, the 2017 Latin American Summit on October 2 in Miami will bring together leaders from the region to discuss important issues such as human rights, democracy and ensuring economic prosperity. The summit focuses on Florida’s relationship with the region and will help to build and solidify partnerships between the two areas. Governor Scott spoke to Capital Analytics about the summit:
What is the main focus of the summit?
This summit seeks to address two key areas: trade and democracy. We will have a variety of people from both Latin America and the U.S. speaking to address how these two themes are ultimately intertwined. When we have strong democracy, we have strong trade partners.
If you look at Latin America and compare some of the more recent challenges we have seen, and how it has affected Florida’s economy, you get widely different stories. Take the difference between Venezuela and Argentina. Venezuela was once a huge trade partner of ours, but now, under Maduro, our trade had drastically decreased. Then you consider Argentina and President Macri’s transition to power. Florida is experiencing an increase in trade. Democracy in Latin America is a big deal for our country, but even more so to Florida as trade often comes here first.
But it is also about bringing businesses together to network and create more even business. Aside from the one-day conference’s agenda, we will be coordinating lunches and dinners for more intimate and targeted networking opportunities.
How will the Summit address regional challenges like the situations in both Venezuela and Cuba?
The summit will facilitate a dialogue and enable key leaders to talk about where we as a region are and where we need to go.
The Trustees of the Florida State Board of Administration (SBA) unanimously approved my proposal to prohibit the State of Florida from doing business with any organization that supports the Maduro regime. As Floridians and Americans, we are against the brutal treatment of the Venezuelan people. We must look to do anything we can to support freedom and democracy, and that is what this summit intends to support.
It was important for me that we address what is happening in Venezuela at the summit particularly because a lot of people in Florida are from Venezuela, and they have family that are in Venezuela still. They’re struggling and not getting the materials or medicine they need. Additionally, it’s important to the world economy that we continue to promote democracy, and the summit seeks to do this.
What does hosting this type of conference in the State of Florida say about its position as a leader in the region?
We are a leader for Latin America and I hope will continue to be. We are one of the largest trade partner to many countries in the region, and many Latin Americans live, own property and work in Florida. From my position as governor, I have the opportunity to serve in one of the fastest growing states in the country. It has cut taxes while increasing revenue, has unparalleled job growth and has an education sector that is becoming increasingly competitive. All this enables us to be a strong model of democracy, business growth, prosperity and more for the region at large.
Some of the confirmed speakers include:
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida’s 27th Congressional District
Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Florida’s 21st Congressional District
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida’s 25th Congressional District
Congressman Francis Rooney, Florida’s 19th Congressional District
Donna Hrinak, President, Boeing Latin America
Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Metropolitan of the Province of Miami
Emilio T. González, Ph.D., Director and Chief Executive Officer, Miami-Dade Aviation Department.
Paul F. Browning, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas (MHPS-AMER), Inc.
Romaine Seguin, President, UPS Americas Region
Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, CEO, Embraer S.A
Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas
Marcelo Mindlin, Chairman and CEO, Pampa Energía S.A.
Juan M. Kuryla, Port Director and CEO, PortMiami
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