The Twelfth Georgia Tech Global Business Forum:

DR-CAFTA and Regional Economic Integration in the Americas: Opportunities for U.S.-Based Firms

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Venue: GTRI Conference Center, 250 14th Street, N.W., Atlanta Georgia

Organized by: The Georgia Tech Center for International Business Education & Research (GT CIBER)
Presented by: UPS
Co-organized by: The Georgia Department of Economic Development, The U.S. Export Assistance Center, SunBelt Network, The Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hemisphere Inc., U.N. CIFAL Center for the Americas/Atlanta
Co-Sponsored by: The Southern Center for International Studies, The World Trade Center Atlanta
Supported by: UPS, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Merial Ltd., and the US National Centers of Excellence in International Business Program




7:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast
Welcome by United Parcel Service

8:30-9:00 Morning Keynote Address
Mr. John M. Andersen, Director, Office of Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

9:00-10:15 Morning Panel I
A Forecasting Outlook for the DR-CAFTA Economy and Regional Economic Integration in the Americas
Dr. David. C. Bruce, Institute of International Business; GSU; past chairman of the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce and President of Georgia-Pernambuco
  • Ms. Robin Matthewman, Division Chief,Europe and Western Hemisphere Division, Office of Bilateral Trade Affairs, U.S. Department of State , Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Schott, Senior Economist, The Institute for International Economics, Washington, D.C.
  • Mr. Jose Ignacio Gonzalez, Executive Director, Hemisphere, Inc.
10:20-10:35 Coffee Break

10:30-12:15 Morning Panel II
Doing Business with DR-CAFTA:Geographic, Legal, Marketing and Strategic Approaches
Mr.Thomas A. Strauss, Southeast Network Director, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Ms. Leslie Schweitzer, Senior Trade Advisor, Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
  • Mr. Luis A. Aguilar, Partner, McKenna, Long & Aldridge LLP
  • Mr. Alexander A. Mejia, Vice President of Government Affairs, Hemisphere, Inc.
12:15-2:00 Luncheon Keynote Address
To be introduced by Hon.Craig Lesser, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development
H.E. Ambassador Salvador Stadthagen - Embassy of Nicaragua

2:00-3:45 Afternoon Panel

Six Promising Sectors in DR-CAFTA: Regional Markets of the Future
Moderator:Dr. John R. McIntyre, Executive Director, Georgia Tech CIBER
  1. Logistics and Transportation: Ms. Maria Rey, Executive Director Latin American Logistics Center, Washington D.C.
  2. Trade and Import-Export: Mr. Nestor Rodriguez, Market Development Director, The Latin American Company
  3. Bio and Life Sciences: Mr. Luis Gomez, Country Manager, Merial NOLA, Duluth, Georgia
  4. EcoTourism: Dr.Kirk Bowman, Director, Latin American Studies,Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Tech
  5. IT Outsourcing and Call Centers: Ms. Elizabeth Lyons, Senior Business Development Manager, Intertect-Consulting
  6. International Franchising: Mr. Bachir A. Mihoubi, CEO, FRAN Counsel, LLC
3:45-4:00 Closing Remarks and Evaluation

6:00-7:30 Reception in honor of the Global Business Forum, the DR-CAFTA Consular Corps, and the U.S. National CIBER Language and International Business Conference
Venue: Georgia Tech Hotel, 800 Spring St. (reservations required)


This year the Georgia Tech Global Business Forum turns its focus to the member nations of the DR-CAFTA trade agreement.Our forum will feature area experts, business leaders, and government officials who will speak on topics of interest to those contemplating doing business in the DR-CAFTA nations. Atlanta is home to honorary or full consulates for all the nations whichare members of DR-CAFTA (Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua), and many firms doing extensive business in the area and in the Americas. The DR-CAFTA agreement eliminates virtually all tariff barriers in a $33 billion trade market. Countless new business opportunities will arise from this agreement.On February 28, 2006, President George W. Bush signed a Proclamation to Implement the Agreement.

Major Emphases:
  • Global Forum Candid Industry Panels with senior industry, marketing, and technology experts discussing proven successes in outsourcing, exporting, joint venturing, manufacturing, and providing services with DR-CAFTA countries.
  • Identifying market opportunities in DR-CAFTA countries, as trading partners of the United States, in the context of a fast changing market in the Americas
  • Where, when, and how to build your DR-CAFTA market
  • Market entry and joint venture strategies
  • Overcoming regulatory and cultural obstacles
  • Understanding the evolution of the national and regional business environments.
Who Should Attend

This unique executive forum is designed to be intensive and specific for business decision-makers, strategic business planners, export, marketing and operations managers, top professionals, legal practitioners, consultants, and academics with a special interest in the Americas and the business impacts of ongoing regional economic integration negotiations.We suggest sending a team of executives to the Forum because pursuing international markets affects the entire company.

For More Information:

For Registration Form:
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