Air Date

June 9, 2022

Featured Guests

Erick Scheel
CEO, PepsiCo Beverages Latin America

Juan Carlos Mora
CEO, Bancolombia

Pilar Cruz
Chief Sustainability Officer, Cargill

Mauricio Ramos
CEO, Millicom, Chair, U.S.-Colombia Business Council

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Suzanne P. Clark
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Goldy Hyder
President & CEO, Business Council of Canada

Sandra Reed
Partner, Pérez Bustamante & Ponce Abogados

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In early June 2022, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State hosted the 2022 IV CEO Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. The event brought together leaders from across the Western Hemisphere for in-depth discussions on the theme of “Stronger Together: Business Forging Sustainable Growth in the Americas.”

Day 2 of the Summit featured insightful conversations that empowered business leaders to explore more sustainable practices powered by technology. The day opened with talks about sustainability innovations in business. There were also multiple discussions about digital growth and transformation, particularly for entrepreneurs.

After a special address by President Joe Biden, the Summit closed with panels and conversations about climate action in the Americas, energy security, and the energy transition. Here are some highlights from panels that happened on Day 2 of the IV CEO Summit.

President Biden Challenges Business Leaders

The Summit’s special VVIP speaker was President Joe Biden, who addressed the audience on updating the means of economic growth, creating American infrastructure, and investing in new capital.

In his speech, President Biden presented an optimistic view of the United States’ role in the global economy. He hopes by investing in domestic infrastructure and partnering with other countries, America can help level the economic playing field for all countries.

President Biden concluded his speech by issuing a challenge to the CEOs and business leaders in attendance.

“My challenge to all of you is if you step up and play a bigger role in driving inclusive, sustainable, equitable growth in the 21st century, a lot is going to happen,” said President Biden. “We're at an inflection point … More is going to change in the next 10 years than has changed in the last 30 years in the world. Decisions we make today are going to have far-reaching impacts on our future. They're going to last well into the middle of this century.”

“Our challenge is to shape the outcomes so the future reflects democratic values of our region [and] an economy that we want to live and work in that ensures a fair playing field for our workers and our businesses,” President Biden added.

The Americas Need to Move Faster to Combat Climate Change Impact

As John F. Kerry, Special Envoy for Climate for the United States, stated, “no country is moving fast enough” to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, and the public and private sectors need to collaborate to mitigate the global impact.

“There's no government in the world that has enough money to be able to implement this transition,” said Secretary Kerry. “[It] only happens if we excite the private sector and the private sector takes a lead in producing the products and the technologies that we need, the processes we need. I'm convinced that can happen. We can win this battle, no doubt, but we've got to pick up the pace.”

Secretary Kerry noted that while there is anxiety and excitement about climate change, there are also opportunities for new businesses to grow and innovate.

Digital Highways Are the Roadway for Digital Connectivity

A recurring theme through the IV CEO Summit was the need for digital connectivity across all countries to create equality. In a discussion on bridging the gap in Latin America, Mauricio Ramos, CEO of Millicom, discussed “digital highways,” a term he uses for people to understand the technology they’re using travels and creates a digital infrastructure available to the entire community.

Ramos’ hope is to create better educational opportunities for those in Latin America so that those countries can be competitive in tech with the United States. By enhancing broadband access and offering coding classes, Latin America’s youth can become computer science experts.

“The way we get to 10 years from today, 20 years from today [is to] have created a real talent pool of individuals that create tech in our markets is by combining these digital highways [and] access to high-speed broadband in whatever manner with coding capacities for that talent,” said Ramos.

“I would have one ask from the Ministries of Education and the presidents: Work with us to help select better talent, so that we can put together coding classes, connected with connectivity,” he continued. “Those kids will find their way to work from home to create the next Silicon Valley and stop migrating to the U.S.”