Colombia's former president received widespread praise and applause at the Latin Trade Symposium and Bravo Awards.
BY CHRONICLE STAFF
Alvaro Uribe, Colombia’s president from 2002 to August this year, received a warm welcome when he attended the Latin Trade Symposium and Bravo Business Awards in Miami.
In addition to receiving repeated strong applause from the more than 300 executives who attended the symposium and award dinner, Uribe was praised by four of this year’s Bravo winners, including Arcos Dorados CEO Woods Staton, Pacific Rubiales CEO Ronald Pantin, Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno and Intel World Ahead General Manager John Davies.
Pantin described how his company could see the difference under Uribe. While the company faced challenges in raising investments in 2004, the panorama changed dramatically a few years later thanks to the improved security and business-friendly policies implemented by Uribe, he said.
“Now when you say ‘Colombia,’ everybody says ‘Where do I sign?’,” Pantin said. “Colombia is the best place to invest in Latin America.”
Uribe told the executives why he made security a priority. Colombia’s poverty could only be reduced by increased investments. And those investments would only come if there was increased security.
Among the key achievements of his “Democratic Security” policy was the 80 percent drop in kidnappings and 50 percent reduction in homicides, Uribe said.
The former Colombian president expressed confidence that his successor, Juan Manuel Santos, would make further advances in security in Colombia.
At a private session with more than 40 CEO’s of multinationals, Uribe shared his advise and insight on leadership based on his own experiences turning around Colombia from a “failed state” to one of the favorites of multinationals operating in Latin America.
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