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Latin America and the Caribbean: High Level Conference Calls for Improved Investment Climate

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Cesar Leon
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Vanessa Bauza
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Shaela Rahman
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Panama City, Panama. June 6, 2013— High ranked officials from governments throughout Latin America and the Caribbean called today—at an international conference-- for an improved investment climate in the region and their respective countries as a necessary condition to boost productivity and sustain the economic and social progress from the past decade.

In cooperation with the Government of Panama, the World Bank Group (WBG) is hosting the conference, convening government officials from Latin American and Caribbean countries and global experts that have pursued successful investment climate reforms.

Roberto Henriquez, Minister of the Presidency of Panama, opened the two-day forum, which includes delegations from Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay, among others .

“Today and tomorrow we will have a dialogue on how to improve the climate for public and private investment in the region and how to address our challenges,” said Minister Henriquez. “We will have the opportunity to share concrete examples of the strategies we have implemented to transform our countries and elevate our levels of development.”

Latin American and Caribbean economies are expected to grow by 3.5 percent this year. Despite decades of job creation and significant improvements to the business environment, many countries in the region still face challenges which constrain local companies and hamper their productivity. Some countries have become regional champions in regulatory reform practices, such as streamlining business start-up procedures, introducing electronic tax payment systems to improve compliance, and reducing barriers to regional trade to promote economic integration. Others are seeing the potential to improve their productivity in order to achieve greater growth and competitiveness.

Hasan Tuluy, the World Bank’s Regional Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “Investment climate reforms are key to sustainable growth and job creation in Latin American and Caribbean countries. This is a unique learning opportunity for our client countries to exchange good practices on their respective reform agendas.”

“The World Bank Group is committed to continuing its support for reform efforts in the region,” said Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC’s Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Our hope is that the collective success of governments will provide a powerful example of how a favorable investment climate can help companies grow, compete, and contribute to shared prosperity.”  

The forum in Panama City is part of an ongoing series of regional knowledge exchange events organized by the Investment Climate Department of the World Bank Group, a joint department of IFC, the World Bank and MIGA. These events aim to foster regulatory reform opportunities in the region and globally.

About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA);
and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit,, and

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit

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