Push For Brazil-Colombia Integration

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News Americas, BOTOGA, Colombia, Fri. Aug. 12, 2011: Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno has called for deeper integration between Brazil and Colombia.

The call came at the First Colombia-Brazil Investment Forum where some 600 participants discussed opportunities in energy, finance, transportation, and other sectors.
The call comes as economic forecasts show that if Colombia and Brazil maintain their current growth rates, in 20 years they will comprise a market of 180 million middle class people with very similar social and educational profiles and double their current purchasing power.

“This is where an agenda of deeper and more inclusive regional integration begins to take shape, going beyond trade and generating a dynamic that results in benefits on both sides of the border,” said Moreno. “We can start by doubling bilateral trade within five years. This will significantly close the current integration gap between both countries.”

Participants from the business sector included Jorge Gerdau, founder of Movimiento Brasil Competitivo; Luis Carlos Sarmiento of Organización Sarmiento; André Esteves of BTG Pactual; Marcelo Odebrecht of Grupo Odebrecht; Germán Efromovich of Avianca; José Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo of Petrobras; and Carlos Raul Yepes of Grupo Bancolombia, among other prominent figures.