Viernes 22 de Septiembre 2023
In In
Latin America and the Caribbean passed the European Union last year in FDI inflows, according to UNCTAD data quoted by A.T. Kearney. (Image: A.T. Kearney)
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Trade Talk

AMLO's Airport More Expensive, Less Useful


Mexico declined eight spots on the latest The A.T. Kearney FDI Confidence Index.

The Index is constructed using primary data from a proprietary survey of 500 senior executives of the world’s leading corporations. The rankings are calculated based on questions about the respondents’ companies’ likelihood of making a direct investment in a market over the next three years.

Mexico now ranks in 25th – or last – place, compared with 17th place last year.

“Despite a significant fall in rank, Mexico’s score increase indicates it remains attractive to investors,” A.T. Kerney says. “These mixed results may be due to the expectation that the government will roll back privatization measures while opening the economy through new trade deals.




Goodbye, Tortugon


Alan Garcia



The Wilson Center Honors Four Distinguished Latin American

Philanthropists, Civil Society Leaders

The Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a

prominent research organization in Washington, D.C., will honor leading Latin American

philanthropists and civil society leaders at an awards ceremony in Miami on April 30, including a

senior figure in Caritas Venezuela who has helped address the country’s unprecedented

humanitarian crisis.

Founded in 1977, the Latin American Program bridges the gap between scholarship and public

policy by providing non-partisan expertise to decision makers in the United States and Latin

America. The annual awards ceremony highlights exemplary leaders in government, the private

sector, and civil society. This year, the awardees for corporate citizenship are Woods Staton,

executive chairman of Arcos Dorados, and Ricardo Poma, CEO of Grupo Poma. The awardees

for public service are María Helena Quiñonez, executive director of VallenPaz, Colombia, and

Susan Raffalli, senior advisor of Caritas Venezuela.

Corporate Citizenship in the Americas

Mr. Staton has been a leading figure in the McDonald’s franchise, opening the first restaurant in

Argentina in the mid-1980s. Since that time, he has been successful in identifying where

philanthropic efforts can best address the challenges facing the region, such as enhancing

entrepreneurship and formalizing entry into the labor market for thousands of young people.

According to the World Economic Forum, six out of 10 young people in Latin America work in

the informal labor market. For Mr. Staton, “a business model focused on youth participation and

inclusion, where economic opportunities can lead to a career and newly acquired skillsets, is

critical in tackling the difficulties young people face every day in Latin America,” he stated.

Since 2007, Arcos Dorados has provided opportunities to more than 600,000 young people aged

16 to 24 years old, which for more than 80 percent represented their first formal job. Beyond his

business, Mr. Staton’s native Colombia and current home in Argentina have been the epicenter of

his philanthropic work. He has helped found Endeavor and Ashoka in Argentina, platforms that

promote entrepreneurship to address pressing social issues.

Mr. Staton also currently serves as the chair of the Advisory Board for the Wilson Center’s Latin

American Program. “Woods understands the complexities of politics and policies throughout the

region. He has a passion for ideas and is always looking for new and better ways to create

opportunities, not just for entrepreneurs, but also for people that have been marginalized and

underserved historically,” stated former U.S. ambassador to Argentina, Noah Mamet. “This is

why the Wilson Center looks forward to honoring his long-standing work at our upcoming

awards ceremony,” added director of the Latin American Program, Dr. Cynthia Arnson.

Ricardo Poma’s expansive career has grown, from the early days of his father’s automotive

business to a diverse portfolio managed by Grupo Poma. One of the initial investors in Bain

Capital, Mr. Poma has helped shaped major industries in his native El Salvador after its twelve-

year civil war. According to former Salvadoran foreign minister, Marisol Argueta, “Ricardo has

not only been an outstanding business leader who has excelled in his corporate endeavors; his

vision and social commitment have also been truly inspiring.” Argueta added that Ricardo Poma

“has led multiple initiatives that have transformed the lives of many.”

For more than 30 years, the Poma Foundation has been dedicated to developing projects that

promote social progress, focusing on health, education, culture, and environmental issues. In

addition to his foundation work among other philanthropic activities, Mr. Poma serves on the

board of the Salvadoran Foundation for Health and Human Development, founded by his late

father, Luis Poma.

Public Service in Colombia and Venezuela

Since the early 2000s, the Colombian non-profit VallenPaz has promoted the difficult but

necessary task of addressing major social and development challenges in Valle del Cauca. The

area has suffered from violence stemming from Colombia’s guerilla conflicts with the FARC and

ELN. Added to this difficulty are the historic legacies of indigenous and Afro-Colombian

communities that have faced discrimination and other serious challenges. The executive director

of VallenPaz, María Helena Quiñonez, is an Afro-Colombian leader who has worked extensively

in the public and private sectors in and around Cali and the port city of Buenaventura.

“María Elena embodies the tenacity of Colombian women. Her longstanding trajectory and work

in Buenaventura, the main port city on Colombia’s Pacific coast, is well known. She has been a

true social activist, helping to bring forward the interests of disenfranchised sectors of our society.

Her advocacy in favor of the social improvement of vulnerable communities is remarkable,”

stated Colombia’s Ambassador to the United States, Francisco Santos.

Meanwhile, the economic collapse of Venezuela has led to the largest refugee crisis in Latin

American history, with over 3 million Venezuelans seeking refuge in neighboring countries.

Hyperinflation, corruption, and the collapse of the country’s productive capacity have caused a

humanitarian crisis inside Venezuela, marked by shortages of food and medicine and extended

power outages.

Caritas Venezuela’s senior advisor Susana Raffalli has been identified by Americas Quarterly as

one of the leading humanitarians who will one day rebuild the country. She has dedicated her

career to addressing nutrition crises in situations of emergency and has worked with local and

international organizations on food security and resilience programming in vulnerable countries.

“The difficulties faced by Venezuelans on a daily basis are hard to summarize. Lack of adequate

public services, insufficient access to medical treatment and a growing food shortage will make

any recovery a decades-long task requiring all to be involved,” she stated.

“Susana’s work is truly inspiring,” stated senior advisor to the Latin American Program and

former director of South America in the National Security Council, Dr. Benjamin Gedan. “The

Wilson Center’s Latin American Program is paying attention to Venezuela, and we hope our

work to understand the situation on the ground and engage with public and private actors will

help offer peaceful, non-partisan solutions to address the crisis.”

The Latin American Program thanks the Gala’s International Sponsors, Bain Capital and Grupo


For more information about the Wilson Center’s Latin American

  Other articles in : Trade Talk
Back to Trade Talk