June 8, 2022
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries worldwide have experienced a series of shocks to supply chains that have impacted everything from the distribution of wealth and labor market talent to the environment.
During the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State’s IV CEO Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, Sherry Bahrambeygui, CEO of PriceSmart, had the chance to speak with the founders of the Alliance for Development in Democracy (ADD) in the panel “The Alliance for Development in Democracy — Delivering Economic Growth.”
Throughout the session, Laurentino Cortizo, President of the Republic of Panama, Luis Abinader, President of the Dominican Republic, and Rodrigo Chaves, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, discussed the aims of the alliance and the successes their countries have enjoyed in terms of democratic trade and economic growth.
Reimagining Foreign Trade and Supply Chain Infrastructures
Since its formation in September 2021, the ADD has dedicated its efforts to strengthening the democratic institutions of Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica, addressing the needs of their citizens, and promoting the relationship between their governments and the private sector to stimulate economic growth.
While these may seem like lofty goals to pursue, President Chaves of the Republic of Costa Rica believes that the best way to imagine the future is to build it.
“You have three presidents, basically committed to those values, building a future for their people on the basis of those values, but also understanding that no society in the world has ever achieved prosperity without a vibrant, innovative, and productive private sector that is allowed to operate free of corruption and without corrupting,” Chaves said. “We are birds of a very good feather, flocking together to provide an environment and an ecosystem where foreign direct investment and trade will flourish.”
Partnership Between the Public and Private Sectors Is Key
The ADD is based on the proposition that democracy and development are mutually reinforcing, wherein democracy creates favorable conditions for investment and growth. In turn, that equitable, sustainable growth legitimizes and stabilizes democracy.
President Abinader of the Dominican Republic believes that the public and private sectors can foster growth and prosperity through collaboration.
“We have to go together,” he said. “We have to discuss the problem together. We have to look for solutions together, and that’s something that we have between the three of us. And that’s why our people, our businessmen, who are from the Dominican Republic, from Costa Rica, and from Panama, have come together.”
“We are looking at a balanced development with shared prosperity,” added President Chaves. “That’s the type of society that the three of us want for our people. And that requires a fair share of collaboration between the public sector serving our citizens and serving the private sector to generate wealth.”
President Cortizo of the Republic of Panama said trust is vital to begin fostering the connection between the public and private sectors.
“You need to have trust,” he said. “Our alliance, what it says to the region, to the world, is [to] trust this alliance.”
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