Media Center

Press Release

OAS and Panama Advance in Preparations for 7th Americas Competitiveness Forum

  May 16, 2013

The Steering Committee of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC) and the Organization of American States (OAS) held today in Panama City the official launch of the 7th Competitiveness Forum, to take place in the Central American country from October 2 to 4 under the theme "Infrastructure and Technology Shaping Countries Today."

During the meeting of the Steering Committee, participants agreed on the agenda and format for the event, which will be inaugurated by the President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, and which will bring together more than 2,000 political and business leaders, along with academic representatives and civil society leaders.

The Executive Secretary for Integral Development of the OAS, Sherry Tross, told the Committee that the RIAC seeks to share solutions and increase collective learning. "By adding joint activities we expand opportunities to improve our competitiveness. That is, to generate the economic, social and institutional conditions that make possible the sustainable participation of companies (including SMEs) in national and international markets and a better quality of life for the entire population of the Americas, "he said.

The meeting of the Steering Committee was convened and organized by Panama in its capacity as RIAC President Pro Tempore, and the OAS in its capacity as the Technical Secretariat of the RIAC. The Forum will address issues related to transport and logistics, scientific and technological infrastructure, connectivity, and business and investment climates. It will also focus on the importance of public-private partnerships to boost far-reaching infrastructure projects. The theme of the 7th Forum was selected by Panama to give special importance to the fifth of the 10 Principles of Competitiveness, approved by the authorities of the Competitiveness in the Americas in 2010.

Executive Secretary Tross invited the audience to "express opinions, make suggestions, propose solutions, and analyze the agenda proposed by Panama for the Competitiveness Forum. This is the moment in which when each of the countries and institutions can make a constructive difference."

The Director of the Economic Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic of Panama, Kristelle Getzler, who holds the position of RIAC Executive Secretary, expressed "the pride" of her country in hosting the seventh edition of the Forum, adding that "our commitment as RIAC President Pro Tempore is to preserve and maintain the successful results that emerged from previous forums, and deliver within the new focus of Panama various routes that strengthen our countries’ competitiveness."

Director Getzler added that "Panama is committed to continuing the valuable work of our brother country Colombia in last year’s Forum, now focused on the success and development we have had in the infrastructure sector."

150 people attended in the launch of the 7th Competitiveness Forum among them members of the RIAC Management Committee, senior government authorities from Panama, ambassadors of several countries in the region and a large delegation of businesspeople.

During the meeting, representatives from nine countries in the Americas (Colombia, Chile, the United States, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago) took part, as well as representatives of multilateral and academic organizations such as the IDB, CAF, BCIE, GFCC and Tec de Monterrey.

For more information and to see the compilation of fifty success stories visit

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-193/13