The Second Paraguay Economic Forum (PEF) will take place on February 6 at the Alverno College Read Conference Center and on February 7, a lecture by Victor Brítez Chamorro, Ph.D., the Chancellor of the National University of the East (UNE) will be delivered at the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) Auditorium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Dr. Brítez will be the keynote speaker in the opening session of the Forum as well as present an award that bears his name to seven Alverno MBA Students who had conducted an in-depth analysis on Paraguay and have written academic papers on certain topics and areas that with a focus on Paraguay as a whole country. In this visit to Milwaukee, Chancellor Victor Brítez will be joined by Dr. Rolando Segovia, the Executive Director of International Affairs in UNE Ciudad del Este. The Paraguayan government will be presented by Jose Otaño the Commercial Attaché in the General Consulate of Miami. Additionally, the Milwaukee World Trade Association is supporting the event together with Diario 5 Dias in Asuncion and Revista Logistica in Paraguay.
Mrs. Margaret Pullés, the President of PUMA Communications will be joining the afternoon session of PEF and will present ways to improve Paraguay’s international image, strengthen and foster the bilateral cultural and trade relations between Paraguay and the United States.
Dr. Pullés is the president and founder of PuMa Communications & Cultural Services, a strategic communications firm established in 2006 with offices in Washington, D.C., Miami, FL, and affiliates in Tucson, AZ and Mexico City, Mexico. She is a member of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and serves on the International Business Development Committee where she focuses on identifying and expanding trade and commercial opportunities between the U.S. and Latin America. She spearheads and is developing a trade mission to Mexico for the Chamber. Pullés also serves on the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition advisory board, co-chaired by former Governor Jeb Bush and University of Miami President Donna Shalala.
In 2010, she launched the first Spanish-language radio program to ever transmit live from the nation’s capital titled “Temas en Debate con Margarita Pulles y Armando Guzman.” The program brought together dignitaries, members of Congress, Administration officials, and private and public sector leaders in direct contact with the community. The program was immensely successful and well-received by the public. Pullés continues to appear frequently on Spanish and English-language media as current affair,s and political commentator and analyst.
Prior to PuMa, she has held a number of senior positions of significant responsibility in the private and public sectors. She is proficient in English, Spanish and French and has degrees and coursed studies at various institutions, including: Institute Technologique Franco-Mexicain in Business Administration (Mexico City, MX); Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Humanities (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, MX); International Relations at the Universidad Ibero-Americana (Mexico City, MX); Business Administration and Sales & Marketing at the University of Miami; Economic Development (in French) at Georgetown University (Washington, DC); and, Strategic Development at the American Management Association (New York City, NY).
Another distinguished keynote speaker will be Col. Sandy Harter (ret. US Army), President of Synnection, LLC, who will be focusing on the current situation of Paraguay’s infrastructure, foster bilateral and business relations between both countries and provide a series of suggestions towards strengthening the post – natural disaster government response and recovery program in the land locked country.
Paraguay is located in the heart of South America and is a member of the Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR) along with Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela; member of Inter-American Development Bank, Latin American Integration Association. In 2010 Paraguay had the fastest economic growth rate in Latin America, due to a high demand of agricultural products in the international markets, its growth was ahead of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, and has performed even better than other flourishing regional economies such as Peru and Chile.
The Central Bank of Paraguay reported 11.7 percent of GDP in the first quarter and 12.2 percent in the second quarter of 2010, compared to the same quarters in the previous year. According to Chancellor Britez of UNE “Paraguay is an open economy, over 80 percent of its GDP is generated by exports and imports of agricultural, dairy and livestock products for the World Markets. Asuncion is considered as the bread basket of the world.
International Business Professor Carol Vollmer Pope and Forum founder Peter Tase will focus the event on the economic and investment potential that Paraguay offers to international businesses, with emphasis on the U.S. business sector nationwide as well as in the Midwest and the State of Wisconsin.
According to Dr. Blas Oddone, M.S., a senior adviser to PEF organization team, “Paraguay is the most democratic and business-friendly country in South America.” Unlike many of its neighbors, Paraguay provides rich opportunities for business growth that is free from the fears of a government interference or nationalization as it has happened recently in Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina. On the contrary, the political, social climate and constant economic growth of Paraguay, welcomes foreign direct investment and actively seeks to establish greater ties with United States.
Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes took office on August 15, 2013. He is widely admired for his business acumen. President Cartes was educated in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Paraguay offers opportunities in many areas. Wisconsin businesses interested in projects and ventures in the areas of infrastructure, road-building, agriculture and natural resources will gain a decisive advantage by interacting with the movers and shakers who can make things happen in Paraguay.
In 2012, Paraguay imported $865 million in goods and services from the United States, while exports totaled $145 million. The U.S. ranked fourth in imports to Paraguay, behind China, Brazil and Argentina. Paraguay’s exports center around agricultural products, including soybeans, grains, meat and sugar. The country’s top imports are petroleum products, cellular equipment, electronics, fertilizer, motor vehicles and defense technology.