ALABC October 2019 E-News | The latest selection of carefully curated digital content on business and political developments across Latin America |
The articles published here does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the ALABC board or ALABC and its members.

Dear Members and Friends,

Welcome to our October 2019 E-Newsletter.

Many of you may be worried about the reports and images in the media showing unrest in a few Latin American countries. In these times of transition, countries in the region are experiencing political and social demands addressing inequality and inclusion. ALABC is the organisation that could help you navigate your business through these current challenges.

To help shed light on these latest developments and opportunities in the region, ALABC can help your company navigate these challenges by providing access to experienced business leaders in Australia and Latin America. 

I would like to remind you that applications for the Australia-Latin America Business Excellence Awards are closing tomorrow 31st of October 2019.  All finalists will be invited "complimentary" to our 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner in Sydney, to be held at the Amora Jamieson Hotel, 29th of November.

In our next newsletter we will be publishing the photos of our most recent event,  The Queensland Annual Dinner, 22 October, Custom House, Brisbane and the Victoria Annual Dinner, 31 October, PWC, Melbourne.

Please check our events page regularly, as registrations are open for our upcoming networking events.

Get in touch if you have any suggestions for particular topics of focus you would like to see the Business Council cover at our events. We are always happy to receive your feedback.

Yours sincerely,

Marcelo Salas
Chief Executive Officer 

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In this issue 

October 2019

Australian Innovation Fights Mosquito Borne Diseases Across Latin America

The Future of Work in Latin America: What will be the Impact of Digitalisation, and What To Do?

Interview with Alejandro Werner on the Latest Economic Developments in Latin America


Australian Innovation Fights Mosquito Borne Diseases Across Latin America

1.2 million people have been reached through large scale Wolbachia releases in Brazil in Rio de Janiero and Niteroi, in partnership with Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz and the Ministry of Health.
The World Mosquito Program wants to expand its pioneering technique to stop transmission of mosquito-borne diseases across Latin America.
Speaking at the recent Australian Latin American Business Council Dinner in Brisbane, Professor Cameron Simmons – Director of Impact Assessment for the World Mosquito Program – described successful trials including Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

In conversation with a group of business leaders, Professor Simmons described WMP’s unique, self-sustaining ‘Wolbachia Method’ - a safe, natural and effective way of stopping transmission of Dengue, the Zika Virus, chikungunya and yellow fever.
Read more>

The Future of Work in Latin America: What will be the Impact of Digitalisation, and What To Do?

By now there is no doubt that Latin America’s future depends to a great extent on how the region confronts and manages major global challenges. The effects of rapid and fundamental transformations in climate patterns, information technologies, and methods of communication underscore how closely the region’s fate is tied to developments beyond its borders.

Yet, while many governments, businesses, international financial institutions, and civil society organizations across the world are concentrating more attention on long-term global trends, Latin American nations remain largely focused on short-term and national concerns. Today, most Latin Americans are simply reacting to global developments.  
Read more>

Interview with Alejandro Werner on the Latest Economic Developments in Latin America

To boost the economic recovery and create more jobs, the region will need to rely on domestic drivers of growth, like consumption and investment.

In a wide-ranging interview with Alejandro Werner, the head of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, we discussed the report’s findings, the recent social unrest in the region, as well as the latest developments in Argentina and Ecuador. 

The Regional Economic Outlook last year looked at the evolution of inequality and poverty in the region. How has it evolved since then and do governments have the right policies in place to tackle it?
Read more>

Google expects to increase its customer workforce by three times to support cloud computing services in Latin America by the end of the year 2020.

The Google Cloud Summit in Sao Paulo, Google Cloud’s director in Brazil, João Bolonha said, “This growth has already started and we’ve been expanding teams in Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia.”

According to Alphabet Inc.’s Google, its total capital expenditure globally hit US$47 billion (nearly 37.8 billion pounds) over the last three years. The company further plans to keep investing.

João Bolonha further stated, “Inside Latin America, Brazil is our largest market (in cloud computing) and the one with the fastest growth. Also, the customer consumption of cloud computing solutions rose over 300 percent in 2018.”

However, the official gave no details on the current size of the workforce of Google in Latin America or the quantity of cloud computing services jobs it planned to add.

Read more>

More than Tango, Messi or Malbec : understanding Argentina

Resource-rich Argentina derived its name from the Latin for silver, but its real wealth has come from agriculture, earning it the nickname “breadbasket of the world” at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Farm exports are still a driving force of Latin America’s second biggest economy despite a grim economic crisis that threatens to end the presidency of Mauricio Macri in elections on Sunday.

The birthplace of Pope Francis, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona has long fascinated with its tango, its Messi and its Malbec.
Read more>

Brazilian Education Platform Startse Defies SingularityU

Brazilian education platform Startse is launching a new center in Silicon Valley as part of a new global expansion push planned for the coming months.

The firm, focused on training programs geared at the new economy and corporate innovation projects, has been present in the Valley over the last couple of years with a team of 10 people operating from a coworking space.

A new Palo Alto office, Startse University, is launching on Monday October 14. The facility will host corporate missions and workshops for up to 40 people and features an artificial intelligence lab.
Read more>

Lithium Battery Dreams Get a Rude Awakening in South America

South America controls about 70% of the world’s reserves of lithium, the metal used in rechargeable batteries for mobile phones and electric vehicles, but none of the infrastructure needed to put it to work.

Lithium refining and battery-assembling facilities could help kick start industries in economies that are largely dependent on commodities for revenue, putting them at risk from sharp price swings. But so far, public and private initiatives in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Chile have failed to deliver even a single lithium cell factory. And none are set to be built through 2025.
Read more>

Mexico plans infrastructure blitz worth billions to shore up economy

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico will soon unveil a set of major infrastructure projects drawn up by the private sector to lift the economy, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday, seeking to banish the specter of recession from his young administration.

Speaking at a news conference, Lopez Obrador said some 1,600 projects were under consideration that would "reactivate" Mexico, Latin America's second-biggest economy.

"This is really important, because it would help us to spur economic growth," said the president, who took office in December pledging to deliver annual growth of four percent.
Read more>

High ambitions: Uruguay cannabis firm targets booming global market for medical marijuana

MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - In a white, sterilized laboratory on the outskirts of Uruguayan capital Montevideo, biochemist Javier Varela and his team are carefully cultivating plants for a booming multibillion-dollar global market in medical marijuana.

The company Varela works for, Fotmer Life Sciences, has just made the first commercial shipment of medical cannabis from Latin America, 10 kg (22 lb) of dried flowers with high levels of active ingredient THC destined for patients in Australia.

The small but landmark export underscores the country's push into the burgeoning market for legal cannabis, that has medical uses including helping cancer patients manage chronic pain or treating spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.
Read more>

Join us to celebrate ALABC's 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner in Sydney, 29 NOV 2019

On November 29 in Sydney the Australia-Latin America Business Council will be hosting a special Gala Dinner to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of its foundation. This historic milestone will bring together many of the key figures in the Australia-Latin America relationship from government, business and academia from throughout Australia, and the celebratory dinner will feature the live entertainment, dancing and specially designed Latin American menu format for which the Council was famous in its earlier years.
As key note speaker, we have invited Senator The Honourable Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment and will be joined by other key dignitaries, including the Latin American ambassadors.
Given the historic nature of the event and the exceedingly high profile that it will have with all of the stakeholders in the Australia-Latin America relationship, I would also like to invite you to consider being one of the sponsors of the event. This is a unique opportunity to showcase your company’s / institution’s (as applicable) support for the ALABC and the bilateral relationship.

Proudly sponsor by : Air New Zealand and Lithium Power International.
Register Now>
Please view the information below and consider joining the Australia-Latin America Business Council using the online form. We also have a downloadable PDF brochure and Application Form suitable for completing and emailing.

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