From: Memoli, Michael [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, April 10, 2015 03:22 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N.
Subject: WH Travel Pool #10b: POTUS comments at CEO Summit
Here’s a summary of POTUS’ remarks at the CEO Summit during panel with presidents of Brazil, Mexico and Panama, moderated by Luis Alberto Moreno Mejía, president of the Inter-American Development Bank.
POTUS discussed the economic recovery since he took office in 2009, noting that exports from the U.S. to Latin America and from imports from Latin America to the U.S. are up 50%. That is “an indication not only of the recovery that was initiated by important policies that were taken … but the continuing integration that’s going to continue to be taking place in this hemisphere.”
He noted the presence in the audience of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, saying what he’s done has “been transformative.” But in discussing how technology is going to continue to be “disruptive” he noted that traditional industries are being transformed as well.
For the hemisphere to continue growing, he outlined four principles –
1. Education and worker training. “The economy is changing and workers are going to have to continue to adapt.” Talked about the need for young people to get advanced and technical degrees even if they don’t go to university.
2. Infrastructure. POTUS said we have a lot of infrastructure we need to build in the U.S. and obviously a lot in the region. “The more we can coordinate and work together on infrastructure the better off we’re going to be.” He singled out something from his earlier meeting with SICA nations, and how high energy costs “are a huge impediment” to their development. He said a single energy market will bring down costs for all countries involved.
3. “Broad-based economic development.” He noted out Varela is working to expand prosperity in the cities to remote areas that have yet to share in it. The same is true in the U.S., he said. “Even when economies are growing the gaps between rich and poor oftentimes are accelerating.” He said that’s not good for social stability, opportunity , and for business. “When you have a growing middle class and an aspirational poor that are able to access their way into the middle class, then those become the consumers that drive the marketplace more so than people at the top.”
4. Governance. He said establishing security must coincide with transparency, government accountability, a criminal justice system seen as fair and legitimate. Says investment is more attractive to business where there is stability and certainty.
All leaders have now given opening remarks and members of the audience are being recognized.
Los Angeles Times / Tribune Washington Bureau
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