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The 2006 LABA-LASA Conference, organized by the Latin American associations of Columbia Business School and the School of International and Public Affairs, will provide an insight into the latest trends in the Latin American business scope. This year's conference in entitled “Breaking Traditional Structures: Capital Markets and Microfinance in Latin America ” and the event will address these topics from different academic, political, and business perspectives.

The first panel “Overview and Perspectives of Latin America” , will discuss the fun­damental trends that promote and limit growth in Latin America from a macroeconomic perspective. This panel will feature two prominent decision makers that have proved to be fundamental to the region, namely Mr. Jamil Mahuad, former President of the Republic of Ecuador , and Dr. José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary General of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations.

The second panel, “Trends in Latin American Capital Markets” , will address the increasing interest in capital markets as an alternative way to finance growth and business development in the region. The panel will feature Dr. Tom Trebat, Executive Director of SIPA's Institute for Latin American Studies; Mr. Marcelo Mesquita, Head of Latin American Research at UBS; and Mr. Nicolas Aguzin, Head of Latin America Investment Banking at JP Morgan.

During lunch, we will have a presentation by Mr. Alberto Bernal, Senior Research Scholar & Emerging Markets Economist for Bear Stearns. He will create a link between the second and third panels, and will discuss how stronger markets can help in building a more adequate environment for the consolidation of the economies of Latin American countries.

The third panel, “The Opportunities of Microfinance in Latin America ” , will have an interdisciplinary panel that will focus on specific features of microfinance as a path to development and financial stability. This panel will feature Mr. Jonathan Morduch, Profes­sor of the New York University and author of the book The Economics of Microfinance ; Mr. Donald Terry, Manager of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF); Mr. Bob Annibale, Global Director of Microfinance at Citigroup; and Mr. Kurt Koenigsfest, CEO & General Manager of BancoSol S.A..



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