World Economic Forum on Latin America Opens in Rio de Janeiro

(PresseBox) ( Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, )
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- President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva opens the World Economic Forum on Latin America
- Brazil to lend money to the IMF
- Theme of the meeting: "Implications of the Global Economic Crisis for Latin America"
- More information about the meeting is available at: http://www.weforum.org/latinamerica2009

The World Economic Forum on Latin America 2009 opened today in Rio de Janeiro, with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Alvaro Uribe Velez, President of Colombia addressing the participants of the meeting in the opening plenary. Co-hosted by the Government of Brazil, with support of the Government of Rio de Janeiro and in partnership with APEX-Brasil Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, the World Economic Forum has welcomed over 500 leaders from more than 35 countries, representing business, government, academia, civil society and media. The meeting is held under the theme "Implications of the Global Economic Crisis for Latin America."

At the opening plenary, President Lula pointed out that Brazil will be one of the first and most economically resilient countries to emerge from the world recession. "I spent 20 years of my life carrying a banner and shouting 'Down with the IMF' on streets, at factory gates, in front of crowds. But a few days ago, I called my finance minister and said: 'We are going to lend money to the IMF. We are no longer debtors, we want to be creditors'," he said.

Lula, however, said Brazil will lend money on the condition it is used to benefit the world's poorest nations. "We want to lend the IMF money with a condition that the money can help the economies of poorer countries and developing countries," Lula said.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez agreed that Lula's economic stewardship had helped Brazil and serves as an example to the rest of the continent.

Uribe said Colombia has also made great strides in gaining the trust of Colombians and outside investors. He said that trust will be vital when the economic crisis ends. "When the crisis is over, investment will be made in those countries where there is deeper trust," Uribe said.
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