Media Center

Press Release

Fifth Ministerial Meeting "Pathways to Prosperity" Calls for Intensified Efforts to Promote Sustainable Economic Development

  October 24, 2012

The Ministerial Meeting of the Initiative "Pathways to Prosperity," which took place in the Colombian city of Cali, in the framework of the Sixth Americas Competitiveness Forum, made a call to "intensify our joint efforts to promote sustainable economic development" in a declaration adopted at the meeting.

The Declaration agreed to set up a clearinghouse mechanism to track the Initiative based at the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS), in close collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), as well as a Plan of Action to implement the decisions of the mechanism.

The Director of the Department of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism of the OAS, Maryse Robert, stressed that the mechanism that will be coordinated by the hemispheric body "will support the implementation of the Plan of Action of ‘Pathways to Prosperity’", and will focus on making the common vision reflected in the Initiative a reality; promote meaningful dialogue on policy with key partners; and to identify innovative ideas with high impact on development. "

"Pathways to Prosperity" is a meeting point for dialogue linking the ministers of Trade and Foreign Affairs of the hemisphere to promote inclusive growth, prosperity and social justice. Currently, countries that are part of the Initiative are Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Uruguay.

Director Robert explained that the Plan of Action of the Tripartite Committee of the initiative -which includes, apart from the General Secretariat of the OAS, the IDB and ECLAC- is aimed at boosting the four pillars of the Initiative: the empowerment of micro, small and medium sized enterprises, trade facilitation and regional competitiveness, the development of a modern workforce, and the promotion of public participation in environmental decision making.

Claudia de Windt, Senior Legal Specialist in the Department of Sustainable Development of the OAS, said the clearinghouse mechanism will help meet the goals of "providing a space and an opportunity for ongoing dialogue," "facilitating the exchange of ideas, best practices and innovative policies," "ensuring the continuity of efforts in support of the initiative," and finally," providing inputs into the entire process of development policies."

The Sixth Americas Competitiveness Forum will be held from October 24 to 26 in Cali, Colombia and will be hosted by the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos.

The Competitiveness Forum is an annual meeting convened for countries in the Western Hemisphere to share experiences, trends, efforts and initiatives on issues of innovation in order to become more competitive. The central theme of the Sixth version of the Forum -"Innovation for Prosperity"- recognizes that this is a resource that should be available to everyone to be more competitive and productive. At the meeting in Cali more than 1,500 participants are expected, among them Presidents, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, heads of international organizations, businesspeople, and academics, among others.

The Secretary General Insulza will participate today at 17:00 local time (22:00 GMT) in the Centro de Eventos Valle del Pacífico, in the opening ceremony of the Forum together with President Santos, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, and the Mayor of Cali, Rodrigo Guerrero.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-384/12