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Economy, Emerging Markets

Trade Links with the New Latin America

Panama City |
Speakers include:
Silvia Pavoni

Silvia Pavoni

The Banker

Nestor  Roa

Nestor Roa

Inter-American Development Bank

Jorge  Barata

Jorge Barata

Odebrecht Latinvest


Financial Times Live and The Banker are pleased to bring to Panama the first of its series of exclusive executive briefings on Trade Links with the New Latin America.

This strategic series of forums will provide an in-depth view of the key opportunities and barriers impacting Latin America and the Caribbean’s ties with Asia and the Pacific. The discussion will be centred on the key policies and business initiatives that will bolster the relationship between these two rapidly growing regions, allowing them to capitalise on the vast potential offered by trade, investment and cooperation.

The Panama City Forum will bring together senior policy makers and business leaders for a unique, high-level discussion on the perspectives of infrastructure investment in Latin America and the potential gains that the improvement in infrastructure would bring to the LAC - Asia Pacific trade relationship.

fallback Add to my Calendar 06/25/2015 08:30:0006/25/2015 13:40:00trueTrade Links with the New Latin AmericaFinancial Times Live and The Banker are pleased to bring to Panama the first of its series of exclusive executive briefings on Trade Links with the New Latin America.This strategic series of forums will provide an in-depth view of the key opportunities and barriers impacting Latin America and the Caribbean’s ties with Asia and the Pacific. The discussion will be centred on the key policies and business initiatives that will bolster the relationship between these two rapidly growing regions, allowing them to capitalise on the vast potential offered by trade, investment and cooperation.The Panama City Forum will bring together senior policy makers and business leaders for a unique, high-level discussion on the perspectives of infrastructure investment in Latin America and the potential gains that the improvement in infrastructure would bring to the LAC - Asia Pacific trade relationship.Trade-Links-with-the-New-Latin-America7f68e0cfbcea9c89dcfeb2521a058954MM/DD/YYYY

Panama Canal Expansion: Implications and Opportunities

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Infrastructure as an engine for development in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Panama: Its role as a regional trade integrator

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Chaired by (1)

Silvia Pavoni

Silvia Pavoni

Economics Editor
The Banker

Silvia Pavoni is the Economics Editor of The Banker, a monthly publication part of the Financial Times group, for which she has written on international trade agreements, sovereign debt crises, capital markets and financial technology. Ms Pavoni is in charge of The Banker’s Latin America section, the research behind the annual ranking of international financial centres as well as video and audio content for She has reported from developed and emerging markets including Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, the UK and Hong Kong, among many others, with both written and filmed pieces.

As part of her role, she regularly interviews finance ministers, central bank governors, policy makers and senior bankers. She represents The Banker at various international events, including the annual meetings of the IMF/World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, and has chaired numerous conferences and panel discussions on banking, trade and investment. Previously, she was in charge of Centaur Media’s specialist database on public private partnerships, which was tasked with providing data to the UK Government. She has also conducted research for organisations such as the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK and the Italian Trade Commission. Ms Pavoni holds a BSc in Economics and Finance from Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

Speakers (10)

Nestor  Roa

Nestor Roa

Manager, Infrastructure and Environment Sector
Inter-American Development Bank

Néstor Roa is currently the Manager of the Infrastructure and Environment Sector and Chief of the Transport Division. Before joining the Bank in 2001, Mr. Roa was Director and Commissioner of the Communications Regulatory Commission of Colombia. He also worked at the National Planning Department where he was Director of Infrastructure and Energy, Chief of the Transport Division, Chief of the Infrastructure Policy Division and Transport Specialist. He has also worked in the Colombian private sector. Mr  Roa holds a Master’s degree in Management of Technology (MSc.) from the Sloan Business School of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a Master’s degree in Transportation Engineering (MSc. in Civil Engineering) from Virginia Tech and a BS in Civil Engineering from the Javeriana University of Bogota Colombia (1986).

Jorge  Barata

Jorge Barata

Executive Director
Odebrecht Latinvest
Iván  Zarak Arias

Iván Zarak Arias

Vice Minister of Economy and Finance

Ivan Zarak Arias was designated as Vice Minister of Economy and Finance for the 2014-2019 period by the President of the Republic of Panama.
Ivan Zarak Arias graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering in 1995. After graduating, he returned to Panama and worked for two years at BankBoston Panama. In 1999, he completed his Master in Business Administration (MBA) with honors at Instituto Centroamericano de Administración de Empresas (INCAE) in Costa Rica. Through INCAE he also participated in a student exchange program at The American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) of Glendale, Arizona in the United States of America.
After completing the MBA he worked at the Central American investment banking firm Mesoamerica Investments (San Jose, Costa Rica), as associate for three years, specializing in advisory services on Mergers and Acquisitions. Thereafter, he joined Banistmo Securities (Panama, Republic of Panama), the investment bank arm of Grupo Banistmo, where he worked as Senior Vice President of Investment Bank. His experience during this period was focused on Corporate Finance, advisory services on Mergers and Acquisitions, and Project Finance.
After five years in Banismto Securities (2002-2007), he established Portobelo Capital, a boutique investment bank and wealth management firm. Portobelo Capital thus became the prelude of a project to establish a general license bank in the Republic of Panama. In 2009, together with Portobelo’s other partners, he decided to raise the initial capital for Prival Bank, S.A., a general license bank of the Republic of Panama. The bank was established with an initial capital of $25 million from local and regional partners. Ivan Zarak Arias became founding partner of Prival Bank, S.A., established in 2011 where he served as the Senior Vice President of Commercial Bank until 2013.

Nelson  Siffert

Nelson Siffert

Managing Director, Infrastructure Division
Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES)

Nelson Siffert is the Deputy Managing Director, Infrastructure Division at the Brazilian Development Bank, BNDES. Working at BNDES since 1985, he started as Project Analyst in the Agro-Industry Area; was Manager in Planning Area, participating in the preparation of the National Axles of Integration and Development and Strategic Planning Study during the 2000-2005 period. For four years he worked in the Regional Development Area, became Chief of the Electrical Energy Department, participating in some of the biggest Projects of Electrical Energy Development in Brazil and since April 2009 is the BNDES’ Superintendent in the Area of Infrastructure. Nelson Siffert graduated in Economy at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and he also holds a PhD in Economics by USP (São Paulo University)

Hector  Garcia

Hector Garcia

President, Latin America Region
Bechtel Corporation

Héctor García is responsible for Bechtel’s business development and customer relationships in the Latin America region,encompassing all of the Bechtel group’s global business units: infrastructure; mining and metals; oil, gas and chemicals; and nuclear, security and environmental. He leads Bechtel’s activities in Mexico as a key market in the region.
Prior to his current role, Mr García spent over 7 years in London, where he coordinated the overall strategic planning and business development processes, across the civil infrastructure business lines: rail, aviation and infrastructure; he led Bechtel’s efforts in being selected as project manager for the new Line 4 of Rio de Janeiro’s Metro. He managed signaling upgrades and the procurement and financing of a new rolling stock fleet for London Underground. Mr García’s experience includes development and project financing in multiple sectors including airports, roads, railways, and water and wastewater projects. He was a member of the boards of directors of Alterra Partners and International Water Holdings, which held concessions in airports and water and wastewater systems, respectively. From 2005 to 2007 he was Bechtel’s country manager for Mexico.
Prior to joining Bechtel, Mr García worked at management consultancy McKinsey &Company and, before that, for ICA and PYCSA, two of Mexico’s leading contractors, in their toll road concessions business in Mexico and Central America. Mr García holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from Cornell University and a MBA from the University of Texas.

Ralph Scholtz

Ralph Scholtz

Managing Director, Head of Project Finance, Latin America

Ralph Scholtz is the Head of Latin American Project Finance at MUFG where he leads a group of investment professionals that arrange project finance transactions in the power, energy and infrastructure sectors. Under his leadership, the team has arranged many bank and debt capital market transactions throughout the Americas.
Prior to joining BTMU, Mr Scholtz managed the Project Finance Latin America team at a European bank where he spent 18 years focused on the project financing of energy, natural resources and infrastructure assets. His experience includes successfully closing transactions in Latin America including in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. Mr Scholtz holds a BS in Chemical Engineering and MBA Finance and Marketing (A.B. Freeman) degrees from Tulane University. Mr Scholtz is fluent in French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Daniel  Melo

Daniel Melo

Director, Project Finance & Business Development
Andrade Gutierrez

Daniel Melo is the Project Finance and Business Development Director, Latin America at Construtora Andrade Gutierrez based in Peru. In this position, he is responsible for structuring, financing and implementing Public Private Partnership (PPP), Project Finance and other tailor made solutions for infrastructure, oil & gas and energy projects in Latin America.
Prior to this position, Mr Melo worked as a Senior Manager in Structured and Project Finance at Construtora Andrade Gutierrez based in Brazil and held senior positions at the Seguradora brasileira de crédito à exportação Seguradora Brasileira de Credito a Exportacao, Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires, Cyanamid de Argentina and Banco Mariva.
Mr Melo is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from University of Buenos Aires. He also holds and MBA from University of CEMA in Argentina.

Oscar  Bazán

Oscar Bazán

Executive Vice President for Planning and Business Development
Panama Canal

Oscar Bazán is currently the Executive Vice President for Planning and Business Development, where he is responsible for competitive intelligence, Canal pricing, customer relations, and the maximization of the Canal’s profitability through a diversification strategy.  He has been with the Panama Canal since January 2002 as Marketing and Forecast Manager.  As a professional with over 30 years of experience in the maritime transportation industry, he has held various managerial positions in leading companies worldwide.  Furthermore, has been keynote speaker in several courses, conventions and conferences in the maritime industry not only locally but abroad.
He holds a BA in Business Administration from the University of Panama and completed studies in Strategic Management. He holds a Master’s degree in Maritime Business and Marketing from the Latin American University of Science and Technology in Panama.

Jose  Chavarria

Jose Chavarria

Country Manager, Panama
DHL Express
Margaret Myers

Margaret Myers

Director, China and Latin America Program
Inter-American Dialogue

Margaret Myers is director of the Inter-American Dialogue’s China and Latin America program. She established the Dialogue’s China and Latin America Working Group in 2011 to examine China’s growing presence in Latin America and the Caribbean. Myers also developed the China-Latin America Finance Database, the only publicly available source of empirical data on Chinese lending to Latin America, in cooperation with Boston University’s Global Economic Governance Initiative (GEGI). In addition to maintaining the Dialogue’s China and Latin America and 美洲对话 blogs, Ms Myers has published numerous articles on Chinese leadership dynamics, international capital flows, Chinese agricultural policy, and Asia-Latin America relations, among other topics. She recently published a chapter on China-Latin America relations in the Routledge Handbook of Latin America in the World and contributed to the OECD’s 2015 Latin America Economic Outlook. The Political Economy of China-Latin America Relations, her co-edited volume with Dr Carol Wise, will be published in 2015. Ms Myers is also regularly featured in major domestic and international media, including the Economist, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, El Comercio, Folha de Sao Paulo, CNN en Español, CCTV, and Voice of America.
Before arriving at the Dialogue, Ms Myers worked as a Latin America analyst and China analyst for the US Department of Defense, during which time she deployed with the US Navy in support of Partnership of the Americas. Ms Myers also worked as a Senior China Analyst for Science Applications International Corporation and for Fauquier County Schools, where she developed the county’s first Mandarin language program. Myers received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and conducted her graduate work at The George Washington University, Zhejiang University of Technology, and the Johns Hopkins University/Nanjing University Center for Chinese-American Studies.


Why Attend?

  • Gain critical insights on the latest on infrastructure development in the Americas
  • Hear first-hand on the main issues impacting the trade agenda and find out how Latin America is building the region’s presence in Asian value chains
  • Learn how the latest infrastructure programmes and initiatives are making the Latin America region more connected internally and with the rest of the world.
  • Get an in-depth perspective on the key issues impacting investment, trade and cooperation between the Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia Pacific regions

Agenda - 25th Jun

  • 8:30am
    Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:00am
    Chair’s Opening Remarks

    Silvia Pavoni, Economics Editor, The Banker

  • 9:10am
    Keynote Address

    Néstor Roa, Manager, Infrastructure and Environment Sector, Inter-American Development Bank

  • 9:40am
    Special Presentation - Panama Canal Expansion: Implications and Opportunities

    Oscar Bazán, Executive Vice President for Planning and Business Development, Panama Canal

  • 10:00am
    Panel Discussion – Infrastructure and Trade Logistics in the Americas: What is Next?

    In this session our expert speakers will debate on the trends that are impacting infrastructure and logistics in Latin America and the Caribbean, discussing their role as enablers of business and trade. What are the region’s needs and key development areas? What are the latest efforts –including initiatives such as IIRSA, Mesoamerican Integration Corridor or Pacific Alliance –to connect the region, improve its competitiveness and facilitate trade? What is the likely impact of these initiatives on intra-regional and Asia-Pacific trade? What are the potential trade gains of improvements in infrastructure on both sides of the relationship? How can Latin America increase its participation in global value chains, in particular with Asia? Where are the opportunities for inter-regional investments, technological transfers and strategic alliances in transportation, logistics, energy and urban infrastructure?

    Oscar Bazán, Executive Vice President for Planning and Business Development, Panama Canal

    Jose Chavarria, Country Manager, Panama, DHL Express

    Hector Garcia, President, Latin America Region, Bechtel Corporation

    Margaret Myers, Director, China and Latin America Program, Inter-American Dialogue


    Moderated by:

    Silvia Pavoni, Economics Editor, The Banker


  • 11:00am
    Networking Break
  • 11:30am
    Keynote Address

    Ivan Zarak Arias, Vice-Minister, Economy and Finance, Panama

  • 11:50am
    Panel Discussion - Financing the Infrastructure Gap: Matching Resources to Opportunities

    Latin America’s infrastructure requires annual investment levels exceeding $250 billion, double of what the region has invested in the last decade. As countries in the region make massive investment commitments, where do the most exciting opportunities lie for financiers? What are the latest mechanisms and structures to channel private capital into large scale infrastructure projects? Given the regulatory and fiscal pressure on banks and sovereigns respectively, what are the latest capital markets products filling the funding gap? What are the prospects for infrastructure bonds in Latin America? What are the necessary market and regulatory conditions for them to develop further? Where are the opportunities for public private partnerships (PPPs) and what needs to be done to ensure that government programmes have all the necessary conditions to attract investment? What other avenues for funding infrastructure such as joint funds, and private pension funds infrastructure facilities are being used in the region?

    Jorge Barata, Executive Director, Odebrecht Latinvest

    Daniel Melo, Director, Project Finance & Business Development, Andrade Gutierrez

    Ralph Scholtz, Managing Director, Head of Project Finance, Latin America, MUFG

    Nelson Siffert, Managing Director, Infrastructure Division, Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES)


    Moderated by:

    Silvia Pavoni, Economics Editor, The Banker

  • 12:40pm
    Chair’s Closing Remarks

    Silvia Pavoni, Economics Editor, The Banker

  • 12:45pm
    Lunch and Networking

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Senior decision makers representing the following key sectors, including:

• Manufacturing
• Oil and Gas
• Shipping, Airline Carriers
• Freight / Haulage / Cargo Transportation – Logistics Operators
• Port/Terminal Operators
• Courier Operators
• Banking and Finance
• Telecoms and Technology
• Infrastructure / Property Development
• Policy Makers and Academics
• Government Institutions Promoting Investment

If this fits your company / business profile, please register now for your complimentary place. Complimentary places are strictly limited and subject to approval of the Publisher.

There is a maximum of 15 paying places, priced at $899 per delegate, available to consultancy, advisory and professional services firms. Please email now if this fits your profile.



Marriott Hotel
52nd St. & Ricardo Arias
Panama City P.O. Box 832-0498 WTC


Tel: +507 2 109100


Lead Sponsor (1)

Established in 1959, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is the leading source of development financing in Latin America and the Caribbean. Through financial and technical support for countries working to reduce poverty and inequality, the IDB helps improve health and education, and advance infrastructure. The IDB supports Latin American and Caribbean economic development, social development and regional integration. Through its Integration and Trade Sector, the Bank promotes regional and global integration, trade and investment, and regional cooperation as key drivers of economic growth and social and sustainable development in the region.

Establecido en 1959, el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) es la principal fuente de financiamiento para el desarrollo en América Latina y el Caribe. A través del apoyo financiero y técnico a los países que trabajan para reducir la pobreza y la desigualdad, el BID ayuda a mejorar la salud y la educación, y a impulsar la infraestructura. El BID apoya el desarrollo económico de América Latina y el Caribe, el desarrollo social y la integración regional. A través de su Sector de Integración y Comercio, el Banco promueve la integración regional y mundial, el comercio y la inversión, y la cooperación regional como principales motores del crecimiento económico y del desarrollo social y sostenible de la región.

Supporting Partner (4)

The Business Year (TBY) is a leading research firm and publisher of annual economic resources on national economies. Present in over 25 countries, TBY provides first-hand access to the people and ideas shaping business and policy throughout the world. Each country-specific edition contains a comprehensive range of interviews and analysis, offering an inside look at doing business in the world’s most dynamic economies. TBY’s interviewees, readers, and partners comprise an international network of thought-leaders who are helping to define the future of the global economy.

Capital Financiero is the leading financial newspaper of excellence in Panama and has been for over 14 years. Providing readers specialized information and analytical content related to business, economics, finance and technology. As an independent medium, we are known as the reference in decision-making that drives the development of our country.
Our weekly publication composed of a variety of specialized sections together with its special report supplements, inserted magazines, and monthly forums engage our audience year after year. In our weekly publication, we deliver statistical and analytical facts from sources from our region as well as all over the world allowing for a coverage of a broad spectrum of topics. Throughout the year, about 40 special report supplements cater to the distinctive interests of our readers by digging deep into the countries pressing matters as well as leisurely subjects that are appealing during certain seasons. As a lifestyle addition, we insert a variety of magazines appealing to hobbies and the true passions of our subscription base. In order to encourage constant education to all our executive readers, we present monthly forums with issues of great interest in different areas of our economy and development, with the participation of highly recognized national and international speakers, experts in each area. Overall, Capital Financiero strives to provide our readership with the tools for the decisions they make daily as executives.

Revista Summa is the top magazine in leading economics and business information in Central America. Turning 20 years old in 2014, and with a slick and modern design it has had a new re-launch integrating dynamism into its pages without missing its foundations of thoroughness and experience. Now you will find better structure, more creative covers, and writing to be a reflection of today’s generation.
Revista Summa is precise and up to date with numerous innovations and belongs to Grupo Editorial Summa Media group; with 20 years of experience it became the most important and respectful group in the Region. The products portfolio reaches more than 1,300,000 people every month across 10 countries. With the best platforms of products our services are directed to readers with a mixed profile that combines their work, lifestyle, families, and hobbies.

The Banker provides economic and financial intelligence for the world's financial sector and has built a reputation for objective and incisive reporting. It leads the debate on all the issues surrounding the global banking industry, providing in-depth news and analysis, exclusive interviews with senior industry figures and definitive regional bank listings, including the internationally acclaimed Top 1000 World Banks.

Organiser (1)

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

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