The Americas Business Dialogue responds to the COVID-19 pandemic

Since the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic first begun to be felt in the region, the Americas Business Dialogue (ABD) has sought to respond forcefully to the crisis and to support governments in facing the challenges that it has brought about.

On April 27, 2020, ABD published a set of policy recommendations on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigating its impacts, which it also submitted to all governments in the region. The recommendations are designed to help the countries defend against the pandemic and experience a strong economic recovery after it subsides.

The document includes policies to ensure that the private sector can continue to efficiently and rapidly supply goods and services that are critical at this time, including medical and pharmaceutical and other essential consumer goods, and to ease the burden of the economic impact of the pandemic and the measures that governments have had to implement to contain its spread, laying the groundwork for a strong economic recovery.

The recommendations were developed by all ABD members and adopted by consensus after an initial high-level virtual meeting chaired by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) President Luis Alberto Moreno, where CEOs and senior authorities from private sector associations from across the hemisphere discussed the challenges that their companies were facing as well as the health and economic impacts that the pandemic was giving rise to in their countries.

The recommendations address matters such as the clear definition of essential infrastructure, industries, goods and services, the protection of the global medical supply chain, support for uninterrupted international trade and investment flows and supply chains, the need to accelerate the digital transformation, investment in public health, fiscal policy measures to support economic activity, access to financing, protection and support for employment and assistance to micro, small and medium enterprises, among others.

The IDB, as facilitator, distributed the recommendations among its Governors and ABD is engaged in a series of activities to disseminate them and support their implementation including, for example, virtual meetings in the areas of energy and transparency.

In addition, ABD members have individually sought to contribute directly to the response, including through, among others, financial and in-kind donations, adapting their production lines and facilities to produce essential medical devices, engaging in research and development that will hopefully lead to an effective vaccine, and providing free access to scientific research and tools that allow companies and institutions to continue working remotely. ABD has compiled and made available information about these contributions and is also engaged in identifying opportunities for cooperation among members in specific projects that can help provide solutions to concrete challenges brought about by the pandemic.

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