World Economic Forum on Latin America 2018

Organised by
World Economic Forum
13 March 2018 to 15 March 2018
São Paulo, Brazil

This year’s World Economic Forum on Latin America takes place from 13-15 March in São Paulo, Brazil, bringing together global and regional leaders from government, business and civil society.

ICTSD participates (represented by Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, ICTSD Chief Executive)

Maximizing the Benefits of Trade Facilitation in Latin America

Thursday 15 March, 07:45-09:00


While almost all Latin American countries have ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and are embarking on promising trade facilitation reforms, trading in the region remains complex and costly. Despite the similar nature of trade bottlenecks and some successful reforms in next-door countries, very little trade facilitation experience is being exchanged across Latin America.

On the agenda:

  • Exchange best practices and lessons learned from trade facilitation efforts in the region by governments, private sector and other regional stakeholders;
  • Discuss concrete examples from the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation’s projects in Latin America. The Alliance is a public-private platform that supports trade facilitation reforms by leveraging private sector expertise.

Redefining Resource-Led Growth

Thursday 15 March,


Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies strongly rely on a range of raw materials that are plentiful in Latin America’s soil. What are the conditions for society to benefit from these technologies while creating local economic and social prosperity?

On the agenda:

  • Incorporating smart use of resources in technology innovation
  • Redefining sustainable impact of global value chains
  • Fostering cross-industry and public-private partnerships

The Tide Is Turning: International Trade in 2018

Thursday 15 March,


With established agreements being reworked, how should stakeholders navigate an uncertain trade landscape?

This session was developed in partnership with El Pais.

This session is associated with the System Initiative on Shaping the Future of International Trade and Investment and the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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Shaping Industrial Development Strategies in Latin America

Thursday 15 March,


The world of production – which is more than manufacturing and stretches from R&D and design, to consumers and end-of-use cycles – is undergoing unprecedented transformations driven by technologies such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and next-generation robotics.

These transformations are unleashing a new wave of competition between producers and countries, and can provide significant opportunity and growth. The Forum’s System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Production is working closely with countries in Latin America to inform the design of a next generation of industrial development strategies to disseminate technology, boost productivity, create jobs and position the region as a key player in future production systems.

Accelerating Regional e-Commerce

Thursday 15 March,


E-commerce holds the potential to drive growth and ensure the benefits of trade are more widely spread to small businesses. Yet, business-to-consumer e-commerce in Latin America is low compared with other regions. What barriers need to be addressed to drive change?


Select relevant trade and investment sessions

Regional Integration: Full Steam Ahead? 

Wednesday 14 March, 10:00-11:00
Grand Hyatt São Paulo, Briefing Centre


With protectionist rhetoric on the rise, countries are rethinking their trade strategies. Is this the boost the region needs to overcome long-standing resistance to integration? Dimensions to be addressed: – Building ties between Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance – Pursuing financial integration – Strengthening regional value chains.

Speakers: Alberto Bello, Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, Nicola Calicchio, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Alejandro Ramírez, Marcos Troyjo

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E-Commerce: Expanding Trade Horizons

Wednesday 14 March, 18:45-19:15, Grand Hyatt São Paulo, Briefing Centre


The expansion of e-commerce offers new markets for SMEs and entrepreneurs, and is poised to drive inclusive growth. What top challenges are ripe for international collaboration? Join this issue briefing for the latest insights on global e-commerce from e-payments to trade in digital services.

Speakers: Jean-Claude Ramirez, Roberto Azevêdo, Jeff Kratz, Demetrios Marantis

Watch the webcast