The Plenary Meeting of the Americas Business Dialogue (ABD) was held on December 15th, 2020. The meeting's purpose was to discuss the progress being made since the 2018 recommendations and gather contributions from the private sector representatives for more effective drafting of the 2021 recommendations.
According to Dale Eppler, US National Summit Coordinator for the 2021 Summit of the Americas, the Summit should be understood as a process. Consultations with civil society and the private sector are already taking place. Feedback from National Coordinators are expected in the following weeks. The US Chamber of Commerce representatives highlighted the great importance of finding sustainable solutions to hemispheric problems. The region's economic recovery and the centrality of transparency require strategic political commitments from the Heads of State.
The Chairs of ABD's working groups exposed their main agendas since 2018. The private sector representatives agreed on the need to foster the efforts behind regional integration and the importance of digital transformation for the region's development. Closing the regional infrastructure gap would be another priority for 2021 onwards. Indeed, there are many opportunities for collaboration within ABD. Cross actions among different working groups are encouraged. The Energy and Natural Resources Working Groups' partnership with Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) and its dialogues involving public sector engagement were highlighted as an outstanding initiative. Other hemispheric coalitions such as the Ibero American and the Caribbean Network of Regulatory Improvement pushed forward by the Transparency and Regulatory Cooperation Working Group and the joint work with the Pacific Alliance by the Infrastructure and Logistics Working Group were relevant achievements in that line.
The private sector representatives agreed on reviewing the 2018 recommendations, their implementation level within the region and provide a baseline report that informs the next steps.
Finally, a few announcements were published during the meeting. The Health Economy Taskforce got the status of a Working Group. PepsiCo was announced as the Agribusiness Working Group's new chair, and Google as the Digital Economy and Trade Working Group's new co-chair. Also, the Energy and Natural resources working groups were officially merged as one working group.
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