A Tale of two Latin Americas

Finding the right balance to achieve equitable growth

Latin America is a region divided in two blocs: One supports free market initiatives while the other favours state controls. This duality plays a major part in the dynamics of Latin America’s economy and politics. It affects both large multinational companies and start-ups, foreign investment, human development, and greatly affects people’s everyday life. Which model can ensure long term, sustainable growth? Is there a middle ground? Some issues and topics on this:

  • How the mentioned duality reflect on a country level
  • Development and growth model of the Pacific Alliance vis-a-vis the ALBA block
  • How to ensure economic growth is equitable and socially fair
    • Is regional integration a way, e.g. MILA?
  • Distribution of income and wealth
    • Rise of the middle class and its challenges
    • Relative importance of internal demand vs. exports
  • The role of social movements in driving change
    • Chile: The demand for free education and healthcare
    • Protests in Brazil during the World Cup
    • Elections in Argentina: is society ready for political change?



Ambassador of Colombia to the UK


Former Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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Ambassador of Uruguay to the WTO Chairman of Committee on Regional Trade Agreements


Chief Relationship Officer at Gentera 

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Country Sales Head at Citibank Brazil

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Managing Editor at the Oxford Business Group

more about the panelists


Dr. Nestor Osorio became Ambassador to the UK in 2014.

Prior to this, he was Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN in New York, where he represented Colombia in the Security Council, and held the Council's presidency twice.

Dr. Osorio also served two terms as Executive Director of the International Coffee Organization and was Special Advisor on Coffee and Trade Affairs to the Colombian Government. Prior to that, he was the first Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the WTO.

Ambassador Osorio is Doctor in Law from Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Doctor in Administrative Law from Université de Droit d'Économie et des Sciences Sociales de Paris, and holds an M.Sc from the International Institute of Public Administration in Paris.



Mr. Jeremy Browne has been a Minister of State at the Home Office since September/2012. Before that, he was appointed in May/2010 as a Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office  where he undertook responsibility for South East Asia and the Far East, The Caribbean, Central & South America, Australasia and the Pacific, human rights, consular, migration, drugs and international crime, public diplomacy and the Olympics. Mr. Browne has also served as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2007 to 2010, Shadow Minister for Home Affairs in 2007 and Shadow Minister for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) 2005 to 2007.

Mr. Browne graduated from Nottingham University with a politics degree.



Mr. Pirez Gordillo was appointed Ambassador and  Permanent Representative of Uruguay  to the WTO and  other international organizations in Geneva in 2010. In 2012 he is the Chairman of the Joint Advisory Group of the International Trade Centre. Before he arrived in Geneva, he worked as lawyer in his own practice in Montevideo. Mr. Pirez Gordillo has also been an Assistant Professor in Civil Law at the University of the Republic of Uruguay in Montevideo.

He holds a Master of Laws in International Trade and Business Law from the University of Arizona, and Juris Doctor degree in Law from the Catholic University of Uruguay.



Mr. Alejandro Puente is Gentera’s Chief Relationship Officer. Gentera is a holding company listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange, with the purpose of promoting financial inclusion.

Mr. Puente has a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Universidad Anáhuac and studied  Top Management at Instituto Panamericano de Alta Dirección de Empresa (IPADE Business School). Additionally, he has undertaken different programs on financial analysis, politics and history in Mexico, and marketing and advertising seminars in New York, and corporate diplomacy executive program in Wharton. 



Ms. Velarde leads the Brazilian TTS sales organization at Citibank, covering relationships with over 5,000 clients in different sectors. She joined Citibank in Peru in 1999 as a Quality Analyst.

Ms. Rocio Velarde graduated from the Universidad de Lima in Peru, with a degree in Industrial Engineering and holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and the Tecnologico de Monterrey, where she graduated with Distinction as Class Salutatorian. 



Mr. Cornock has many years experience in the MENA region having worked in both the private and public sectors. From a background in project finance at British Arab Commercial Bank, part of the HSBC Group, he went on to the British Ministry of Defence as an advisor embedded with coalition forces in Iraq.  He joined Oxford Business Group in 2004 as a Country Editor, becoming Managing Editor in 2007. At the same time, he writes a weekly column on the region and regularly appears as a specialist on the Gulf on BBC, CNN, Al Arabiya, CNBC Arabia and other television and radio stations.

Mr. Cornock holds a B.A. (Hons) degree in Arabic with Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies from Durham University.