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Lateinamerikaverein Jubilee: Drawing a Bridge between Latin America and Germany

The LAV has become an important connection between German companies and the Latin American countries

July 11th, 2016

On Wednesday July 6th, the Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier opened the centennial celebration of the German Business Association for Latin America in WeltSaal in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama in Berlin.

Merchants in Hamburg and Breme founded the Business Association for Latin America (LAV) in 1916. The association was renamed Business Association for Latin America (Lateinamerika Verein - LAV), which now has 600 members. The LAV has become an important partner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs being the enterprise network and information platform for the German economic sector with interests in Latin America.

Organizations such as LAV are essential to the understanding of how both parties work, whether businesses, institutions and governments. They are an important network of contacts as they facilitate the search for commercial or technological partners and can mediate in case of difficulties. LAV’s main purpose is to advises, interconnect and inform German companies operating in Latin America, thus making a valuable contribution to networking and understanding between both German and Latin American societies.

Besides Minister Steinmeier and the President of LAV Bodo Liesenfeld, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America (CEPAL) of the United Nations, Ms. Alicia Bárcena, and Panama's ambassador in Germany, Dr. Guido Spadafora were also in attendance.
The Jubilee provides the opporunity for both sides to discuss issues of interest and to straighten bonds that already existed.  Panama's ambassador to Germany, Dr. Guido Spadafora, took the opportunity to talk with Minister Steinmeier and the President of the LAV, Bodo Liesenfeld, about the official visit of His Excellency President of the Republic of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez to Germany.

The event concluded with Alicia Bárcena’s speech to the audience. Bárcena called for taking advantage of the opportunities that the region offers to foreign investors. She plans a cooperation initiative with German businesspeople to create a Latin American export platform.

In her speech, Bárcena underlined that the relationship between Germany, Latin America, and the Caribbean has historically been very dynamic and collaborative. She added that what is needed today is to kick-start the drivers of growth, productivity and technological dissemination, whilst also making a big environmental push. To achieve this, the strategic alliance with Germany and with business and associations must be reinforced.

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News from Berlin
Andreea Stretea, Berlin Global