Theme 2022

Launched in 2016, the inaugural GBF LATAM explored possible new synergies beyond its traditional export markets of the USA, Europe and China, focussing on potential connections between businesses in Dubai and the region. In the context of economic growth declining since 2010 (and actually going negative in 2016), Latin America’s leading economies searched for additional growth drivers at home and business partners who shared their ambition to be part of a new era of globalisation.

2018’s GBF continued that exploration, this time in the context of a pick-up of economic growth in 2017 and 2018. Governments and businesses across Latin America were taking bold steps to bring new dynamism to the private sector, dismantling obstacles to trade within Latin America and investigating new markets in order to build on growth. Potential synergies with Dubai, in areas such as agriculture and renewable energy, tourism, innovation and technology and in trade issues relating to logistics and distribution, were identified.

In 2020, Covid changed Latin America’s trajectory. The green shoots of economic recovery were trampled as closed borders and lockdowns hit the region’s economies harder than anywhere else in the world. In 2021, the region is still fighting to contain Covid and to revive their battered economies.

The Covid-19 pandemic shone a spotlight on longer-term structural problems such as income inequality and bureaucracy that have held back growth in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) economies for decades. There is now a strong impetus for reform that will empower people from across society to achieve their commercial goals, helping to rebuild economies post-Covid in a more sustainable way.

GBF LATAM Programme Pillars 2022

REFORM explored how countries in Latin America and the Gulf region are transforming their economies post-Covid, looking at the key challenges they still face, the changes in priorities brought by the pandemic, and the reforms that are needed to move economies forward. How can governments create more efficient cooperation frameworks with businesses and ensure that reforms help people from across society?

EMPOWER investigated how governments in Latin America and the Caribbean can champion the entrepreneur, support the SMEs that are the backbones of their economies and help all businesses adapt to the increasingly digital world. How can governments and business shape the vision of future economic growth, and how can Dubai’s digital expertise help support this transformation?

GROW examined trade, foreign direct investment, and regional integration as tools for growth. How do governments and businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean – and their counterparts in the GCC - better collaborate for success?

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