Category Archives: Latin America and the Caribbean

Supporting Colombia’s Peace Process: Monitoring Economic Regulation and Transparency in the Use of Post-Conflict Resources

Colombia’s peace process aims to bring about reforms that will benefit agricultural families in post-conflict zones.

Introduction by Tim Ridout:

Colombia’s 2016 Peace Accord between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) made headlines throughout 2016 as it was in the final stretch of negotiations and eventual adoption on November 30, 2016. Although it has since attracted less attention in international news, the ratification of the agreement simply marked the completion of one step in the process. Since then, Colombia’s government, politicians, business community, and civil society leaders have been hard at work implementing the next phase in the accords, which seeks to bring rapid reforms and concrete gains to the Colombian people so they see the benefits of peace, particularly in the zones most affected by the conflict or previously controlled by the FARC. The key is to fill the vacuum quickly to prevent turmoil. Improved economic opportunity has been central to this effort, as have reforms to issues that fueled the conflict, such as coca production, land rights, and corruption.

Blog by Víctor Saavedra:

CIPE has joined forces with Fedesarrollo, Colombia’s primary think tank, in order to complete two objectives. The first is to monitor the extraordinary powers that the president has been given to issue rules that will implement the peace accord signed in December 2016; the second is to do an analysis of the public procurement system in the country and recommend how to more transparently administer the post-conflict resources (which in 2018 will reach nearly one billion U.S. dollars).

Regarding monitoring, Fedesarrollo has published two analyses thus far: one about regulation of a major land reform law (Decree 902 of 2017) and the other about substituting coca cultivation (Decree 896 of 2017). The land reform decree, which implemented one of the primary points of the Peace Accord, affected the processes for assigning, restoring, sanctioning, and regulating the rights of use and property regarding land. The business associations, primarily from the agricultural sector, had serious questions about the rule, which led to debates in the country.

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Colombia’s Peace Accord Opens Door to Responsible Investment

Two palm oil harvesters go about their day. Palm oil is a leading industry in Colombia and a vital piece of the country’s economy.

By Jaime Arteaga

Colombia has had significant achievements despite being home to one of the longest-running internal conflicts in the world. The country’s economy has grown steadily for several decades, without significant fluctuations or crises, while maintaining a low inflation rate thanks to a strong and disciplined monetary policy. Despite having endured nine civil wars over two centuries, Colombia has managed to maintain a stable democracy. In fact, it is the only Latin American country that has had uninterrupted election cycles since 1830. Remarkably, it is the only country in the world that has initiated reparation processes for victims while conflicts are ongoing.

Bringing bananas to market, another vital crop for Colombians.

Therefore, the historic peace agreement, signed in December 2016 by the Colombian government and FARC rebels, removes one of the last obstacles on the country’s path toward economic development. The peace accord creates boundless opportunities for private investment in a number of ways. First, it opens vast expanses of territory that were isolated while under the guerrilla group’s control. Second, the peace agreement permits the state to redirect tremendous economic resources, previously destined for national defense, toward investment in regional economic development. Also, the accord allows society to focus on institutional reforms needed to combat corruption, strengthen the government’s role, and promote economic growth throughout the country.

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Democracy that Delivers #89: Jaime Arteaga on the Importance of the Private Sector in Colombia’s Peace Process

From left: podcast guests Natalia Velásquez and Jaime Arteaga, guest host John Zemko and host Pamela Kelley Lauder

As part of its post-war recovery plan, Colombia’s government is offering big incentives to businesses that expand operations there and reaching out to local communities for input.

The new program is a critical part of Colombia’s ongoing peace process, according to Jaime Arteaga, CIPE’s lead in-country consultant.

The government is promising huge tax breaks to companies that make long-term investments in Colombia’s post-conflict regions, many of which are highly-populated and rich in natural resources.  In this week’s podcast, Arteaga and CIPE Regional Director John Zemko discuss the challenges and benefits of increased private sector activity in Colombia.

Read Arteaga’s thoughts on Colombia’s peace accord and its impact on investment here.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

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Mobile App Gives Investors Instant Access to Corporate Governance Information

App demonstration, watch the full video on the website here.

The recently launched Elapedia app gives investors around the world instant access to corporate governance practices at 100 publically listed companies in the four Pacific Alliance countries (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). The free Spanish-language app, which relies on publically available data, provides information about boards’ policies related to managing conflicts of interest, risk management, and other topics of interest to investors.

“Until now, there was no easy way to compare information on corporate governance between Pacific Alliance countries,” said Andrew Wilson, CIPE managing director. “With this useful tool, investors can quickly become informed on corporate governance requirements. It’s a way to access that information without having to dig through multiple sources. This app will be a huge benefit to large companies looking to invest, put up a subsidiary or buy a company in Pacific Alliance countries.”

The Elapedia app, which was supported by CIPE and developed by Governance Consultants S.A., represents an important step toward the economic and commercial integration of Pacific Alliance countries. By efficiently harmonizing corporate governance practices, the app will greatly improve the flow of investments and help to strengthen Latin American economies.

Established in 2011, the Pacific Alliance’s goals include establishing the free movement of goods, services and people; driving economic growth; and overcoming socioeconomic inequality. Pacific Alliance countries have made significant progress toward improving standards for corporate governance by fulfilling requirements set forth by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Wilson said.

“With this user-friendly app, CIPE hopes to provide a valuable public service in line with one of our key focus areas—encouraging good corporate governance,” Wilson said. “Good corporate governance is critical to the integrity of business operations and to the overall institutional health of countries because it creates demand for better public governance and prevents devastating economic failures. The Elapedia app is intended to promote transparency and accountability, level the playing field, and encourage the disclosure or elimination of conflicts of interest.”

The Elapedia App can be downloaded for free from the App Store.

John Zemko is the Regional Director for Latin America & the Caribbean at CIPE. 

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #74: Mauro DaCunha on the Democratization of Capital in Brazil

From left: podcast guest Mauro DaCunha, guest host John Zemko, and host Ken Jaques

Mauro DaCunha, the chief executive officer of Brazil’s AMEC (Capital Market Investors Association), discusses the importance of democratization of capital in Brazil.

DaCunha credits CIPE’s partnership with Brazil with increasing public awareness of capital markets and its correlation with economic growth. The development of capital markets in Brazil would positively influence the country’s economy by creating job growth, opportunities for investment and a culture of equity investment.

DaCunha also talks about how corruption and distrust of businesses are hindering the development of capital markets while providing insight on what needs to take place to counteract corruption.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes.

Democracy that Delivers #60: Martha Boudreau on the Importance of Messaging and Branding in the Non-Profit World

Podcast guest Martha Boudreau (Photo courtesy of AARP)

This week on the Democracy that Delivers podcast, AARP Chief Communications and Marketing Officer Martha Boudreau discusses the importance of messaging and branding in the world of non-profits. A CIPE board member and top communications strategist in the DC area, Boudreau also talks about her years at FleishmanHillard where she was president of the mid-Atlantic and Latin America and the experiences there that led her to interest in international communications. In particular, she highlights her work at FleishmanHillard in the Middle East and Latin America and explains how that work led to her interest in serving on CIPE’s board, where she heads the communications committee. Boudreau also talks about the mission of AARP, which is to enhance the quality of life for all people as they age, and the important part storytelling plays in furthering that mission.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes to help other listeners find the show.

M&E, Technology, and $2,000 Smartphones in Argentina

Participants at the workshop in Argentina.

This article originally appeared on panoplydigital.com

By Alexandra Tyers

Last week, I was in Rosario, Argentina with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and their partner in Argentina, Fundacion Libertad. I was there delivering a two-day training workshop on monitoring, evaluation and communication, and using technology for those M&E and advocacy activities.

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