Berkeley Research Group, CenterPoint Energy, and Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business co-hosted the Latin American Business Forum at CenterPoint Energy Plaza. The Forum was well attended and included thought leaders from business, academia, and government sectors across the United States and Latin America. Keynote speakers and panelists provided market spotlights and industry insights from leading public- and private-sector thought leaders.
Phil Rowley, executive director and chief revenue officer at BRG, provided opening remarks. The featured keynote speakers were Mayor Sylvester Turner of the City of Houston; Dr. Cesar Maldonado, chancellor of Houston Community College; and Theldon Branch, commissioner of the Port of Houston.
Alex Sleptsov, assistant dean of Freeman School of Business, moderated the panel “Infrastructure Developments in Latin America and Building the Future,” which presented a broad yet nuanced discussion on aspects of organizing, launching, and managing infrastructure projects in the region. Panelists included Brianna Bailey, senior specialist at Research Triangle Institute; Frank Holder, a managing director at BRG; Riaz Siddiqi, founder of Denham Capital Management; and Hon. Juan Sosa, consul general of Panama.
The panelists discussed Houston and its business community’s role in shepherding to successful conclusion critical Latin American infrastructure projects over the next decade. They agreed that such projects present both the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity for the private and public organizations in both the US and the region.
Faisal Amin, a director at BRG, moderated the panel “Technology Development Prospects in Latin America,” which included panelists Eric Cassidy, a council member at the State Bar of Texas International Law Section; Dr. Helmuth Chávez, business school dean of Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala; Maria Carolina Quijano, executive director of Service at ProColombia; Richard Ryan, director at the US Department of Commerce; and Daniel Rios Villa, director of Public Policy at AT&T.
The panel focused on globalization, implications in the region, economies transitioning to services, and technology and other value-added industries and challenges. The panelists discussed the evolving role of technology in Latin American industries including financial services, government, legal, digital technologies, and manufacturing. Other topics included anti-corruption, trade advocacy, project financing, and workforce development.
The forum focused on identifying and assessing new opportunities emerging for business between Latin America and the United States, and explored the role the State of Texas can play in facilitating next steps in business relations between the two regions. Keynote presenters and panel discussions provided market spotlights and industry insights from leading public- and private-sector thought leaders.
Download the Panama LATAM Forum presentation.
Download the FDI Trends – Texas and Latin America presentation.