Three high-ranking Puerto Rico government officials, Gov. Alejandro García Padilla, Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Alberto Bacó and Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company Executive Director Antonio Medina, jetted off to Brazil Sunday to participate in “The Government Leaders Forum — Latin America and The Caribbean,” hosted by Microsoft.
The forum will focus on the “Driving impact today for a brighter future” theme, with special emphasis on areas of interest to policymakers and government heads across the region, including topics such as national competitiveness, social development, economic growth and education, according to the event’s website.
“We can and must create jobs widening horizons looking to Latin America, looking to Europe and the world,” said the governor, adding the trip is part of his administration’s “commitment to promoting Puerto Rico as an investment destination.”
He is slated to meet in the city of Sao Paulo with Brazilian executives to begin positioning the island beyond the usual U.S. markets.
The Government Leaders Forum, which will take place through Wednesday in Río de Janeiro, has drawn heads of countries throughout Latin America to its prior editions, namely former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, President of Colombia Álvaro Uribe, President of Panama Ricardo Martinelli and President Bill Clinton.
Last year, President Sebastián Piñera of Chile and President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia had what forum organizers described as “a historic conversation” using virtual presence technology to discuss their national information, communications and technology strategies with the audience in Washington, D.C., — where the event took place in 2012 — from their respective countries.
García-Padilla is slated to deliver the closing remarks following a discussion on “Innovation and Society” on Tuesday, according to the event’s preliminary agenda.
Although Microsoft Corp. invited García-Padilla, the trip will be paid for with public funds, La Fortaleza said Sunday. However, the cost of the trip to Brazil was not revealed.