Friday, October 28, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Latin American Decade

Founded by Mexican philanthropist Daniel Chavez Moran, the nonprofit Vidanta Foundation and its affiliated institutions of higher learning focus on the promotion of Latin American studies, and the analysis of Latin American international relations and strategies for a positive integration of the region in the global economy. Daniel Chavez Moran came across these insights on the Latin American decade ahead from Alberto Ramos of Goldman Sachs, a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm:

  • This definitely could be the Latin American decade—if policy-makers seize the opportunity to adopt longstanding structural reforms geared to increase productivity, diversify the economic base, and boost real GDP growth. 

  • Second-generation reforms that could help unlock the growth potential in Latin American economies include reforms in education, labor markets, and trade, but also institutional reforms aimed at increasing the efficiency of the public sector and at attracting domestic and foreign investment. 

  • Brazil has emerged as an important power in the region and has in recent years attracted significant portfolio and direct investment flows. But the large capital inflows added pressure on the exchange rate, which has reduced the overall competitiveness of Brazil's non-commodity exporters. 

  • China's emergence as a global economic and financial powerhouse and major consumer of commodities has admittedly levered the economic performance of Latin America. At the same time, China is now a formidable competitor in the export of manufacturing goods, particularly for Mexico. 

  • Since Latin America is commodity rich (given its large endowment of natural resources), it experiences a significant positive "wealth shock" when commodity prices rise. The macro resilience accumulated in recent years has better prepared the region to withstand negative price shocks, and so a downward correction of commodity prices should not in itself trigger disruptive macroeconomic dynamics. 

Related posts: Daniel Chavez Moran on partnering for progress and Daniel Chavez Moran on Mexico’s global economy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran on Uniting for Education

Mexican philanthropist Daniel Chavez Moran understands education is one of the keys to freeing people from the bondage of poverty throughout the Americas. His founding of the nonprofit Vidanta Foundation, and his founding of the Fundación Delia Moran A.C., in honor of his mother, a gifted school teacher, are testaments to that belief. Chavez Moran applauds efforts in the United States to improve education for the more than 11 million Hispanic students in America’s public elementary and secondary schools as noted in this Washington Post article:

“President Obama has appointed Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll — the Colombian singer better known around the world as Shakira — to a presidential commission on education for Hispanics... 
“Shakira was recently named the 2011 Latin Recording Academy person of the year. Here’s the biography of her on the White House release: 
She founded the Barefoot Foundation in 1995, which operates schools and educational projects in Colombia, South Africa, and Haiti, feeding and educating approximately 6,000 children. In 2010, she collaborated with the World Bank and the Barefoot Foundation to establish an initiative that distributes educational and developmental programs for children across Latin America. In 2008, Ms. Mebarak Ripoll served as the Honorary Chair of the Global Campaign for Education’s Global Action Week. In 2005, she became a founding member of Latin America in Solidarity Action, a coalition of artists and business leaders seeking to promote integrated early childhood public policies. Ms. Mebarak Ripoll became a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund in 2003, where she promotes the expansion and improvement of comprehensive early childhood care and education across the world.
“...The other two members to be appointed to the advisory team are Adrian Pendoza, who leads a grass-roots immigration and education reform organization, and Kent Scribner, who serves as a school superintendent in Phoenix.”

Related posts: Daniel Chavez Moran on opening doors to the future and Daniel Chavez Moran: For the children.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Welcomes Pan-American Games

Vidanta Foundation, welcomes the thousands of international competitors and visitors to the Pan-American games, hosted Oct. 14-30, 2011, in Jalisco, Mexico.

About some of the venue cities from the Mexican Tourism Board:

  • Guadalajara: Renowned as a state-of-the-art city and a business center, will be the main venue of the encounter which will gather 42 countries and over 5 thousand athletes. The second most populated city of the country also provides the visitors the typical mariachi, tequila and charrería (Mexican rodeo style), symbols which are representative of the city and the state in general. 

  • Tapalpa: Named as a Magic Town and located at 118 kilometers from Guadalajara, this town offers ideal natural landscapes for extreme sports. Besides, its gastronomy includes delights as the sheep “al pastor,” rompope (kind of eggnog), fruits punch and pulque. 

  • Ciudad Guzmán: Favorite place for the practice of ecotourism, will also be present in the sportive competition which will start on October 14th. The Volcano Nevado 'El Colima', which summit covers in white from December to February, as well as the Ecological Park Las Peñas and the Lagoon of Zapotlán are some of the places which allow the visitor to practice activities to the open sky. 

  • Puerto Vallarta: Forms part of the beautiful Bahía de Banderas, and is one of the beach destinations more frequently visited in Mexico thanks to its tradition, beauty and hospitality. This site will be another sub-venue of the international games.

  • Lagos de Moreno: Another municipality which will form part of the Games is Lagos de Moreno, that was honored by UNESCO in 2010 thanks to its Historical Downtown, acknowledged as a Cultural Heritage of Mankind. This municipality provides a direct encounter to the roots of the Mexican identity. 

Related posts: Daniel Chavez Moran on travel news and Daniel Chavez Moran on environmental stewardship.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Bridge to a New Energy Future

Daniel Chavez Moran, following a successful career as developer of five-star hotels and resorts, golf courses, vacation ownership resorts and tourism infrastructure throughout Latin America, founded the non-profit Vidanta Foundation to support public policies that strengthen democracy and promote economic and social development in Latin America.

Integration of the region in the global economy being key to that vision, Chavez Moran notes this Wall Street Journal article about a new energy future for Latin America:

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones)--Brazil's emergence as a hot frontier for oil and natural gas was boosted Wednesday by two fresh discoveries, with exploration and development of the country's newfound oil wealth likely to attract billions in investments over the next decade.

Latin America's largest country is squarely in the cross hairs of the global oil industry, with Brazil's stable democracy and robust economic growth making it especially attractive...

Brazil is betting heavily on development of its offshore fields, with former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva--the predecessor and mentor to current head of state Dilma Rousseff--saying oil could transform the country by easing the crushing poverty afflicting many of its citizens. The area known as the pre-salt, where oil was found more than 4 miles below the ocean surface, could hold between 50 billion and 100 billion barrels of oil and make Brazil the world's fourth-largest crude producer and a top-10 exporter...

The latest discovery builds on a string of high-profile finds that started in 2007, when Brazil announced the first pre-salt oil field. The Tupi field, now in pilot production after being renamed Lula, was the largest discovery in the Western Hemisphere since Mexico's Cantarell in 1976. Lula alone is estimated to hold 6.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil...

Despite the technical challenges that make pumping oil from the ocean depths expensive and complicated, the Ernst & Young Terco-Getulio Vargas study said that oil exports could reach 600,000 barrels a day by 2020 and generate $27.9 billion in revenue. That's nearly double the $16.1 billion in oil-export revenue Brazil earned in 2010.

Related posts: Daniel Chavez Moran on economic news and Daniel Chavez Moran on globalization and Latin America.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Equality in Education

Daniel Chavez Moran is the son of a gifted and caring school teacher. He is also the founder of Fundación Delia Moran A.C., which seeks to improve the lives of those less fortunate by providing support for poverty-stricken children ages 6 to 12 who struggle to survive each day.

Chavez Moran understands the vital role education plays in lifting people from poverty. That is why he read with interest this recent news from the United Nations on tackling the disparities in education faced by girls around the world:

3 October 2011 – With evidence showing that disparities in education widen as girls grow, the United Nations today kicked off a two-day meeting in Paris devoted to gender inequality in classroom achievement and on women’s leadership role in education. 
The forum on gender equality in education brings together experts, government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to examine the root causes of inequality between girls’ and boys’ school performances. 
While gender equality in education remains a crucial issue for many countries, women still account for two thirds of the world’s illiterate population and the majority of out-of-school children are girls, according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which organized the forum. 
“Equality is not a numbers game,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in her address to the meeting. 
“Equality implies the same chances of learning, of benefiting from equitable treatment within the school, and the same opportunities in terms of employment, wages and civic participation,” she added. 
...Participants at the forum will also consider the progress achieved in reducing the gender gap, and the obstacles that stand in the way of women’s ability to achieve senior leadership positions in the public sector and more specifically in education.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran on Brighter Trade Horizons

Daniel Chavez Moran on brighter trade relations.
Daniel Chavez Moran, now retired from the development of hotels and resorts, founded Grupo Vidanta in 1974 after graduating from The University of Guadalajara with a degree in Civil Engineering. He retired in 2005 to found the Vidanta Foundation, which actively promotes public policies that support economic growth, strengthening democracy, and the reduction of poverty, inequality and discrimination in Latin America.

Chavez Moran follows news of global economic development with special interest, including this recent article, “Latin America Buffered Against Global Shock, World Bank Says,” from Bloomberg news

“Latin American countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Chile have created a buffer against a global recession after raising interest rates in the past 15 months, the World Bank said in a report today...Latin America and the Caribbean is forecast to grow between 3.5 percent and 4.5 percent this year, thanks to capital inflows and high commodity prices...the World Bank foresees emerging markets, including China, continuing to outgrow the developed world, with commodity prices remaining high...the emergence of China as a major trading partner for Latin America has been a driver of the region’s robust growth in the past decade, contrary to initial concerns that China ‘would outcompete and displace’ Latin America and the Caribbean... “

Friday, October 14, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran on Economic Growth in Brazil

Daniel Chavez Moran on economic growth.
Retired resort developer and philanthropist Daniel Chavez Moran encourages scholarly and civic projects supporting economic development and the growth of democracy throughout Latin America through the Vidanta Foundation, a nonprofit organization he founded in 2005.

Chavez Moran notes this recent positive economic news published by Reuters news service about growing economic opportunities in Brazil that will help increase tourism. An excerpt from that story:
(Reuters) - German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) will take advantage of strong economic performance in Latin America at a time when its businesses elsewhere are under pressure, a senior executive said on Wednesday...the carrier is expanding in Latin America, opening what it sees as key routes in recent months, including to Bogota and Rio de Janeiro. It has also launched an alliance with Colombian and Salvadoran tie-up AviancaTaca AVTp.CN for other routes.
"We want to develop our business in Latin America because we see that the area has been quite stable during the crisis," Lufthansa's vice president for the Americas, Jurgen Siebenrock, told Reuters during a visit to Venezuela. 
"There's a lot of growth, especially in Brazil ... we want to be part of that," he said, citing the potential offered by Brazil hosting the 2014 soccer World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran Announces 2011 Prize Winners

Philanthropist Daniel Chavez Moran proudly announces the winners of the 2011 Vidanta Foundation Prize for "Contributions to the Reduction of Poverty and Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean."

  • First place and $100,000 is awarded to Desarrollo Autogestionario, A. C. (AUGE), Mexico.
  • Second place and $75,000 is awarded to CE-Mujer, Dominican Republic.
  • Third place and $50,000 is awarded to Associação Para Valorização de Pessoas com Deficiência, (AVAPE), Brazil. 
The annual Vidanta Foundation Prize is a joint initiative by the Organization of American States (OAS), the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) and the nonprofit Vidanta Foundation, founded by Daniel Chavez Moran.

More than 200 civic organizations throughout the Americas applied for the Vidanta Foundation Prize this year. The winning submissions were selected on August 26, 2011, at Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo state, Mexico, by an esteemed international jury including Mrs. Billie Miller (Barbados), Mr. Carmelo Angulo (Spain), Luis Maira (Chile), Esteban Moctezuma (Mexico) and Julio María Sanguinetti (Uruguay).

Also nominated as finalists were:
  •  Fundación Allegro, Argentina.
  • Fundación Instituto de la Mujer, Chile.
  • Sin Fronteras, I. A. P., Mexico.
Related posts: Daniel Chavez Moran on opening doors to the future and Daniel Chavez Moran on creating opportunities

Monday, October 3, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Education in the Battle Against Poverty

As the son of a school teacher in Mexico, Daniel Chavez Moran remembers the lessons taught to him by his mother who dedicated her life to helping children combat the destructive combination of ignorance and poverty. That is why Chavez Moran created Fundación Delia Moran A.C. in 2002 in his mother’s honor to provide assistance to children ages 6 to 12 whose day-to-day life is a constant struggle.

But more needs to be done to battle poverty through education according to , founded by Luanne Zurlo after a nine-year career as a securities analyst on Wall Street:
Daniel Chavez Moran on education.
 Without a high-level education, Latin American children will continue to lack the skills necessary for entering the workforce and participating in the increasingly competitive global economy.

  • 50 million people in Latin America cannot read or write.
  •  Latin Americans receive an average of six years of schooling, compared to nine-and-a-half years in the OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) countries.
  • Nearly one-third of children in primary school in Latin America repeat a grade. The additional cost to the region's education systems has been estimated at $4 billion per year.
  • Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru rank behind Uganda, Zambia, Botswana and Burundi in the quality of their math and science education.
  • In Mexico, only 13 percent of adults receive a high school diploma versus 87 percent of American adults.
  • Over 50 percent of Mexican and Brazilian 15-year old youth are functionally illiterate and thus unable to compete in today's economy.

Daniel Chavez Moran salutes the work of and the dedication of all of those involved in this important effort “to minimize the education gap in Latin America by investing in high-quality and outcome-driven schools and education programs that serve impoverished children.”

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran on Mexico’s Global Economy

Daniel Chavez Moran on Mexico’s economy
Daniel Chavez Moran, a retired developer now focused on philanthropy through the non-profit Vidanta Foundation, recognizes that today’s global economy directly connects life in Mexico with decisions made far away in Manhattan in the United States. He read with interest this recent article on the subject in the Economist magazine, excerpted below:
Making the desert bloom ...The financial crisis of 2008 began on the trading floors of Manhattan, but the biggest tremors were felt in the desert south of the Rio Grande. Mexico suffered the steepest recession of any country in the Americas... Its economy shrank by 6.1 percent in 2009... Between the third quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2009, 700,000 jobs were lost, 260,000 of them in manufacturing. The slump was deepest in the prosperous north: worst hit was the border state of Coahuila. Saltillo, its capital, had grown rich exporting to America. The state’s output fell by 12.3 percent in 2009 as orders dried up. The recession turned a reasonable decade for Mexico’s economy into a dreary one. In the ten years to 2010, income per person grew by 0.6 percent a year, one of the lowest rates in the world. In the early 2000s Mexico boasted Latin America’s biggest economy, measured at market exchange rates, but it was soon overtaken by Brazil, whose GDP is now twice as big and still pulling away, boosted by the soaring real...
 Yet Mexico’s economy is packed with potential. Thanks to the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and a string of bilateral deals, it trades more than Argentina and Brazil combined, and more per person than China. Last year it did $400 billion of business with the United States, more than any country bar Canada and China... Though expatriates whinge about bureaucracy, the World Bank ranks Mexico the easiest place in Latin America to do business and the 35th-easiest in the world, ahead of Italy and Spain...
 These strengths have helped Mexico to rebound smartly from its calamitous slump...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Latin American Currencies Gain

Daniel Chavez Moran on Latin American currencies
Though now retired, Mexican entrepreneur Daniel Chavez Moran remains dedicated to advancing democracy and economic opportunity for all of Latin America through his philanthropic work with the non-profit Vidanta Foundation. Chavez Moran also follows economic news and notes this recent report from Reuters news service regarding gains for Latin American currencies and the inter-relation of the economies of Mexico and the United States:
RIO DE JANEIRO/MEXICO CITY, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Latin American currencies gained against the U.S. dollar on Monday, led by Mexico's peso, after better-than-expected U.S. economic activity reduced concern that the world's largest economy is entering another recession. U.S. consumer spending rose 0.8 percent in July, its fastest pace in five months, the U.S. Commerce Department said on Monday. The result beat the 0.5 percent expected by 59 economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters ECONALLUS.
 The United States is responsible for about 80 percent of Mexico's export earnings and is the largest or second-largest trading partner of most Latin American countries. "When you get news of growth in the U.S., that's better for the peso," said Marcelo Salomon, chief economist for Brazil and Mexico at Barclay's Capital in New York. "Concern about the United States going into recession would have been bad news not just for Mexico but for the rest of Latin America as well."

Related posts: Daniel Chavez Moran on economic outlook for 2011 and Chavez Moran: A Public Forum with Mexican President Calderón.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Latin American-European Relations

Daniel Chavez Moran on European relations
Retired businessman Daniel Chavez Moran announces the international seminar, "Latin America and Europe and its Global Relationships," sponsored by the non-profit Vidanta Foundation, will take place on Sep. 13, 2011, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The meeting will be held at the Torcuato Di Tella University, an associated institution of the Vidanta Foundation.  The seminar is cosponsored by the magazine Nueva Sociedad, and its participants will be prominent figures from Europe and Latin America.

“A non-profit private university...Located in the Belgrano neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, it has an undergraduate enrollment of 1,200 students and a graduate enrollment of 1,300. The university is focused primarily on social sciences. The undergraduates majors available are economics, business administration, law, political science, international relations, history and more recently, architecture. The university also offers 28 graduate programs.

“Universidad Torcuato Di Tella was founded in 1991, with the mission of educating new generations of academics, and business, social and political leaders. It was founded by the Torcuato di Tella Foundation, making use of the experience and resources of the Torcuato di Tella Institute. The latter, a non-profit institute founded in 1958 to promote research in the interest of scientific, cultural and artistic development in Argentina, became a leading local center for avant-garde art during the 1960s. The establishments' namesake, Torcuato di Tella, had been a leading Argentine industrialist through his Siam di Tella conglomerate (founded in 1911).”

Related posts: Daniel Chavez Moran notes economic news and Daniel Chavez Moran on U.S.-Latin American relations

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chavez Moran Announces Gov. Richardson as Speaker, Constructing Democratic Governance

Daniel Chavez Moran announces Gov. Richardson
Philanthropist Daniel Chavez Moran is pleased to announce Bill Richardson, former two-term governor of New Mexico, U.S., will be the keynote speaker of the seminar titled "La Construcción de la Gobernabilidad Democrática," sponsored by the non-profit Vidanta Foundation. The seminar will take place on Oct. 6-7, 2011, in Washington, D.C.  Its primary objective will be to present and discuss the main findings of the Vidanta Foundation’s Constructing Democratic Governance series, coordinated by Michael Shifter at the Inter-American Dialogue and Jorge Dominguez at Harvard University.

Gov. Richardson served as the 30th governor of New Mexico from 2003 to 2011. Before being elected governor, Richardson served in the administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and as Energy Secretary. Richardson has also served as a U.S. Congressman, chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

The Constructing Democratic Governance project sponsored by the Vidanta Foundation is concerned with democratic institutions and practice in the Latin America. Scholarly publications resulting from the project have been widely used in college and university classes concerned with democracy in Latin America and have been cited frequently by policy specialists grappling with the complicated issues surrounding democratic progress in the region.

Despite progress in recent years, almost all Latin American countries continue to face challenges, and possible setbacks, to democratic governance and the rule of law. In light of these critical problems, it is productive to once again take an in-depth, systematic look at regional trends in democratic governance. The central purpose of such an assessment is to illuminate current trends and challenges and to make practical lessons available to analysts and key decision makers on Latin American issues.

Related posts: Daniel Chavez Moran on democratic progress in Latin America and Daniel Chavez Moran on constructing democratic governance.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Creating More Value

Daniel Chavez Moran on value through CSR.
Retired Mexican entrepreneur Daniel Chavez Moran learned from his mother, a great teacher who dedicated her life to helping children combat ignorance and poverty, that the true measure of a man’s success is not what he makes of himself but how he helps others. That is why Daniel Chavez Moran created Fundación Delia Moran A.C. in 2002 to help young children whose day-to-day life is a constant struggle to survive. That is also why he founded the non-profit Vidanta Foundation, with a primary goal of promoting the social sciences and culture of Latin America as well as promoting corporate social responsibility. A recent paper published by the Harvard Business Review explains the impact corporations can have in creating even more economic and social value for the communities they serve. Here are excerpts:

Companies must take the lead in bringing business and society back together. The recognition is there among sophisticated business and thought leaders, and promising elements of a new model are emerging... 
The solution lies in the principle of shared value, which involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges. 
...Capitalism is an unparalleled vehicle for meeting human needs, improving efficiency, creating jobs, and building wealth. But a narrow conception of capitalism has prevented business from harnessing its full potential to meet society’s broader challenges. The opportunities have been there all along but have been overlooked. Businesses acting as businesses, not as charitable donors, are the most powerful force for addressing the pressing issues we face. The moment for a new conception of capitalism is now; society’s needs are large and growing, while customers, employees, and a new generation of young people are asking business to step up. 
...The concept of shared value, in contrast, recognizes that societal needs, not just conventional economic needs, define markets. It also recognizes that social harms or weaknesses frequently create internal costs for firms—such as wasted energy or raw materials, costly accidents, and the need for remedial training to compensate for inadequacies in education. And addressing societal harms and constraints does not necessarily raise costs for firms, because they can innovate through using new technologies, operating methods, and management approaches—and as a result, increase their productivity and expand their markets.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran On Revitalized Trade Relations

Daniel Chavez Moran on revitalized trade relations.
Building on lessons learned from his career as developer of five-star hotels and resorts, golf courses, vacation ownership resorts and tourism infrastructure throughout Latin America, the now-retired Mexican philanthropist Daniel Chavez Moran founded the non-profit Vidanta Foundation in 2005 to support public policies that strengthen democracy and promote economic and social development in Latin America.

With positive international relations and integration of the region in the global economy being key to that vision, Chavez Moran notes this news of successful trade meetings between Canada and Brazil as published by CBC News:

Canada signed a series of agreements with Brazil Monday that Prime Minister Stephen Harper says will boost business ties and increase the flow of goods and people between the two countries. 
Harper and President Dilma Rousseff signed the pacts on air travel, pension benefits, international aid and other areas at the presidential palace in Brasilia. 
Brazil is the first stop on Harper's six-day tour of South and Central American countries that will see him try to improve trade relations in perilous economic times. 
The agreements signed Monday will enhance Canada's competitiveness and translate into other benefits for Canadian businesses and consumers, Harper said in a release announcing the agreements. 
“Brazil is a major global economic player and a key priority market for Canada,” said Harper. “These agreements will benefit both countries by promoting greater two-way flow of people, goods and services, enhancing our competitiveness and further strengthening our partnership in key areas of shared interest.”

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Investing in Infrastructure

A retired businessman, Daniel Chavez Moran understands the value of investing in infrastructure improvements for future growth. Through his philanthropic work with the non-profit Vidanta Foundation, he seeks to promote scholarship in the social sciences to influence the formulation of public policies that strengthen democracy and economic sustainability for the future of Latin America.

Chavez Moran notes with interest this recent technology article from The Atlantic, a U.S. publication, on how expanded broadband internet access in Latin America can create a pathway to jobs:

Daniel Chavez Moran on investing in broadband infrastructure.
Is a poor broadband network holding back the region's economy? Investing in infrastructure doesn't mean just roads and bridges anymore.
In the days of the Great Depression, governments built roads and bridges in an attempt to nudge the economy into a recovery. Is expanding the broadband network the 21st-century equivalent? 
Latin America is ripe for such an effort, argues Raul L. Katz of Columbia Business School. The underdeveloped broadband network there is holding back the region from faster economic growth. 
In 2008, 5.5 percent of people living in Latin America had access to broadband Internet. In Europe and America, around a quarter of people did. Chile, the Latin American country with the most developed broadband network, still has a lower rate of access (8.4 percent) than Greece, the lowest-ranking European country surveyed. 
The potential jobs growth will come from closing the gap between the demand for broadband (estimated based on the size of the Latin American economies) and its availability. The largest gaps are in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela. Additionally, about 15 percent of Internet users have dial-up connections, many of whom would switch over to faster broadband were it available and affordable. 
Greater Internet access could certainly encourage the development of businesses ranging from small tech start-ups to global firms.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran Remembers the Victims of September 11, 2001

Daniel Chavez Moran remembers the victims of 9/11.
As the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States nears, Daniel Chavez Moran remembers the victims and their still grieving families from all across the Americas. He was touched by the remembrances recently shared by Colin Powell, the former United States Secretary of State, who was in Lima, Peru, on that fateful day to attend a meeting of the Organization of American States, the 34 democratic nations of the Americas.

Secretary Powell’s reflections as printed in the July/August 2011 issue of Americas, an official publication of the Organization of American States:

...Early that morning, I was having breakfast at the home of President Alejandro Toledo. There were eight of us at the round breakfast table and we were discussing, of all things, cotton textile quotas. President Toledo was anxious for the United States to improve the quotas for Peruvian textiles. Suddenly, my assistant came into the room and handed me a note saying a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. We didn’t know if it was an accident, a mad man, or a terrorist attack. A short while later he handed me a second note which said that another plane had crashed into the second World Trade Center tower. It was definitely a terrorist attack... 
At the conference, my colleagues extended their condolences and promised support in responding to the crisis. I thanked them and said the best immediate support they could provide was to pass the Democratic Charter so terrorists would see that we remained steadfast to our principles, even in a time of tragedy. The Charter was passed by a vote of acclamation. 
In the ten years since, the Charter has grown to become a defining standard of democratic ideals in the Americas. Just before leaving the conference on the morning of 9-11, I made a statement that ten years later seems as relevant today as it was on that fateful day:

“A terrible, terrible tragedy has befallen my nation, but it has befallen all of the nations of this region, all the nations of the world, and befallen all those who believe in democracy. Once again we see terrorism, we see terrorists, people who don’t believe in democracy— people who believe that with the destruction of buildings, with the murder of people, they can somehow achieve a political purpose. They can destroy buildings, they can kill people, and we will be saddened by this tragedy; but they will never be allowed to kill the spirit of democracy. They cannot destroy our society. They cannot destroy our belief in the democratic way...”

Related posts: Daniel Chavez Moran on partnering with the Organization for American States and Daniel Chavez Moran on international solutions to strengthen democracy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Opening Doors to the Future

Daniel Chavez Moran eagerly awaits the announcement of the winners of the 2011 Vidanta Foundation Prize for "Contributions to the Reduction of Poverty and Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean." A jury meeting on August 26th in Cancun, Mexico, will select first, second and third place winners from among the more than 200 nominations received.

The annual Vidanta Foundation Prize is a joint initiative by the Organization of American States (OAS), the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) and the Vidanta Foundation, the nonprofit organization founded by retired businessman and philanthropist Daniel Jesus Chavez Moran.

Its aim is to provide recognition and support for outstanding projects carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean. The prize helps open the doors to the future, with a first place award of $100,000; a second of $75,000; and a third, $50,000.

Here are excerpts from last year’s announcement by OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza:

October 15, 2010: The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, presented the prizes of the Grupo Vidanta Foundation to the Mundo Mujer Foundation, of Colombia, to the Chilean organization Un Techo para Chile and to Comunidades de la Tierra, of Guatemala, for the work these organizations carry out to fight poverty in the region.
In a ceremony held in the Museum of Anthropology and History in Mexico City, Secretary General Insulza highlighted the value of the efforts of these organizations, which structure their activities around issues related to poverty. The head of the OAS praised the work of the winners in influencing the elaboration of public policies that fight the causes of underdevelopment and for creating awareness of the negative social effects of inequality and discrimination. 
..."I wish to recognize the talent of our people and the importance of taking advantage of it to benefit others,” Secretary General Insulza said. He added that the prize is given at a time when poverty rates in the region have fallen in recent years, and when despite the crisis Latin America and the Caribbean have persevered. “The reason for this has to do with public policies and with economic growth, but above all with initiatives like those undertaken by these groups, intended to fight poverty.”

Friday, August 26, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran on Foundation Advisor Dr. Jorge I. Domínguez

Daniel Chavez Moran on Foundation advisor Dr. Jorge I. Domínguez.
Founded by philanthropist Daniel Chavez Moran, the Vidanta Foundation is a non-profit institution focused on the promotion of Latin American studies, and the analysis of Latin American international relations and strategies for a positive integration of the region in the global economy.

Along with Dr. Roberto Russell, president of the Vidanta Foundation who was recently appointed to the advisory board of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, an equally esteemed advisory committee helps to guide the work of the Foundation.

The committee includes Dr. Jorge I. Domínguez, the Antonio Madero Professor for the Study of Mexico, vice provost for international affairs, special advisor for international studies to the dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, and chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies at Harvard University.

His current interests center on comparative politics and international relations in Latin America, United States-Latin America and United States-Mexico relations and issues relating to public opinion and democracy in Mexico.

Along with numerous awards, distinctions and publications, among notable recent works is “Contemporary U.S.-Latín American Relations. Cooperation or Conflict in the 21st Century,” edited by Dr. Domínguez and Rafael Fernández de Castro. This book, from a project funded by the Vidanta Foundation, brings together a collection of essays on the relations of various countries in the region with the U.S. in the last decade.

Related posts: Philanthropist and retired businessman Daniel Chavez Moran on the path to Mexico's future and Daniel Chavez Moran on the affiliated institutions of the Vidanta Foundation.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Rising Retail Sales

Daniel Chavez Moran on rising retail sales in Latin America.
An accomplished businessman and entrepreneur from Mexico, the now retired Daniel Chavez Moran built his businesses with a reputation for service and a skill for responding to marketplace opportunities. Chavez Moran read this retail news in the Wall Street Journal with interest for the growth opportunity it shows for Latin America in the global retail market.

Adidas Sees Latin America Helping It Meet 2015 Sales Target

BUENOS AIRES (Dow Jones)--German sportswear company Adidas AG (ADS.XE, ADDYY) hopes to ride its ubiquitous brand to sharply higher sales over the next five years as it piggybacks on improving lifestyles and rising disposable income in emerging markets like Latin America.

Adidas is the world's second-largest maker of sports goods by revenue after Nike Inc. (NKE), and is synonymous with soccer across much of the world.

The company is on track to meet its target to increase net profit 10% to 15% this year amid steady growth in sales, Chief Executive Herbert Hainer said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires on Thursday.

Adidas has plans to increase its total sales 42% to 17 billion euros ($24 billion) by 2015, from EUR12 billion last year, Hainer said.

Today, Latin America accounts for about EUR1.3 billion, or 10%, of its annual sales. While its operations are growing worldwide, the company expects brisk sales to continue in Latin America thanks to rising incomes in the soccer-mad countries.

Adidas has enjoyed eight years of double-digit sales growth in the region, said Charlie Maurath, head of Adidas Latin America, at a press conference. The pace has been even higher in Argentina, where sales have grown at an annual rate of about 25% in the last few years, said Walter Koll, the director of Argentina operations.

Philanthropist Daniel Chavez Moran, through his work with the Vidanta Foundation, studies the challenges and opportunities faced by the nations of Latin America in the 21st century global economy. Related posts: Daniel Chavez Moran on Latin America's fast-growing retail market and Daniel Chavez Moran on Latin America’s decade of growth.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran on Democratic Progress in Latin America

Daniel Chavez Moran on democratic progress in Latin America.
Strengthening democracy and promoting economic and social development to reduce poverty and social inequality in Latin America are two of the aims of the Vidanta Foundation, founded by Daniel Chavez Moran.

Chavez Moran is pleased the United States Senate recently recognized democratic progress in Latin America at a Foreign Relations Committee panel hearing chaired by Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

Experts testified that Latin America as a whole is more democratic today than it has ever been in the past. More citizens are participating in government as there is a broader acceptance of elections as the way to transfer power.

Roberta Jacobson, U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, testified:

“Mr. Chairman, I have heard you highlight the important success many societies in Latin America and the Caribbean are enjoying today. We share your assessment. That success is measureable in very tangible ways: in rising levels of political and personal freedom, greater economic prosperity, and increasing global integration. These factors work together in remarkable synergy. They generate vast opportunity. They strengthen institutions. They have helped lift scores of millions of people out of poverty in the last decade—and in the process brought forth huge new pools of talent and energy that are literally transforming very diverse countries. It is difficult to imagine this happening without the consolidation of democratic and market societies in most of Latin America and the strengthening of democratic institutions in much of the Caribbean over the last two decades.”

Whether in his earlier business dealings or in his founding of the Vidanta Foundation, Daniel Chavez Moran has hoped to inspire others to dream more, to learn more and to be more.

Related posts: Philanthropist Daniel Chavez Moran on U.S.-Latin American relations and Daniel Chavez Moran announces Vidanta Foundation Prize entries.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: On Sustainable Development

Daniel Chavez Moran on sustainable development.
Daniel Chavez Moran is now retired, but he remains committed to environmental stewardship. Throughout his career prior to his 2005 retirement, Daniel Chavez Moran invested heavily in sustainable economic development and resource conservation as a developer of five-star hotels, resorts and golf courses across Mexico and Latin America.

Daniel Chavez Moran is pleased to learn of plans for Earth Summit 2012, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be hosted in Rio de Janeiro in June of 2012.

According to Earth Summit 2012 organizers, the objectives of the Summit are:

To secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development; to assess progress towards internationally agreed goals on sustainable development and to address new and emerging challenges. The Summit will also focus on two specific themes: a green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development, and an institutional framework for sustainable development.

The summit will be attended by politicians and heads of state/heads of government from member countries as well as officials from member countries and international institutions.

...The world is facing a mounting crisis. In recent years we have experienced a combination of a global financial crisis, a food crisis, volatile oil prices, accelerating ecosystem degradation and an increasing number of climate-induced extreme weather events. These multiple and inter-related crises call into question the ability of a growing human population to live peacefully and sustainably on this planet, and demand the urgent attention governments and citizens around the world.

Earth Summit 2012 will be the fourth Summit of its kind and represents another milestone in ongoing international efforts to accelerate progress towards achieving sustainable development globally.

Read more about Daniel Chavez Moran's guide to saving natural resources and the work of the Vidanta Foundation to improve the quality of life for the people of Latin America.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Economic Outlook for 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran on the economic outlook for 2011 in Latin America.
As a young man in Mexico with a degree in civil engineering from the Universidad de Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Daniel Chavez Moran dreamt of building a successful international business. Three decades later, Chavez Moran is now retired, having successfully developed five-star hotels and resorts, golf courses, vacation ownership resorts and tourism infrastructure throughout Latin America. His passion and interest in economic and social development continues through his philanthropic work with the non-profit Vidanta Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to promote scholarship in the social sciences and culture, to promote intra-Latin America relations, and to influence the formulation of public policies that strengthen democracy and economic sustainability for the future of Latin America.

Chavez Moran follows international economic trends and notes this recent analysis of the debt crisis now facing the United States as published by Reuters news service:

Role reversal: Latin America taunts U.S. on debt woes

(Reuters) - After three decades spent battling their own debt crises and getting constantly lectured about them by Uncle Sam, many Latin Americans are watching the countdown to a possible default in Washington with a mix of schadenfreude and fear of what a collapse might mean for them.

For everybody from presidents on down to street vendors, seeing U.S. politicians argue over where to make painful budget cuts has also been a reminder that those days are over in Latin America. For now, at least, as most of the region enjoys an era of economic prosperity and comparatively tiny deficits.

...These days, Latin America's economy as a whole is expected to expand about 4.7 percent in 2011 -- almost twice the expected rate in the United States -- thanks to strong demand for the region's commodities and a decade of mostly prudent fiscal management, itself the product of many hard-learned lessons of the past.

Related posts: Daniel Chavez Moran on partnering for progress and Daniel Chavez Moran on the path to Mexico's future.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Market News in Latin America

Understanding that inter-American cooperation is critical for Latin America’s success in a global economy, philanthropist Daniel Chavez Moran notes this recent market news published in the Wall Street Journal about Brazil’s and Colombia’s stock and future exchanges signing a partnership accord:

"Brazil's BM&FBOVESPA (BVMF3.BR), which runs Brazil's main stock and futures exchange, and its Colombia counterpart signed a memorandum of understanding in order to evaluate alternatives focused on a possible interconnection of their equities, fixed income and derivatives markets to promote the development of the capital markets," BM&FBOVESPA said over the weekend.  
"With the signature of a memorandum of understanding, the two exchanges are keen on starting an exploration phase, that will establish a plan that would make feasible the interconnection of securities trading platforms in both countries, which allows the bid and ask order routing," said BM&FBovespa.  
"The purpose is to explore the benefits and value opportunities in both markets and this is the first step of the process; the modalities and the date for the happening of the interconnection will be discussed and established by the exchanges in the future," it added.

Daniel Chavez Moran founded a conglomerate of companies that actively participated in the socioeconomic development of Mexico and Latin America through the strategic development and construction of new tourist destinations, hotel operations, urban infrastructure, roadways, real estate developments and a new international airport. Though now retired, Chavez Moran now dedicates his time to his family and the philanthropic work of the Vidanta Foundation to help create a sustainable economic future for the 580 million people of Latin America. Read more about the work of Daniel Chavez Moran.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chavez Moran: About International Studies

Until his official retirement in 2005, Daniel Chavez Moran worked for over three decades to make his business dreams come true.  In founding the non-profit Vidanta Foundation, Chavez Moran continues to make a difference in the lives of the people of Latin America with his support of economic and social development projects and causes. 

The Vidanta Foundation hosts international seminars and conferences; awards prizes in recognition and support of outstanding projects in Latin America and the Caribbean to reduce poverty, inequality and discrimination; and publishes scholarly works on public policies that support economic growth and strengthening democracy.

Among the Foundation’s affiliated institutions is the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.

From the school’s website:

Seven Decades of Educating Global Leaders

SAIS has always looked to the future. When the school was founded in 1943, World War II raged in Europe and Asia. But a group of visionaries —led by statesmen Christian A. Herter and Paul H. Nitze—foresaw the need for a graduate school that would prepare young men and women to assume responsibilities in the postwar world. In today’s post-9/11 era, the challenges are enormous and unprecedented. Yet SAIS’s mission is more relevant than ever: to train the next generation of leaders in the global arena. 
A division of The Johns Hopkins University since 1950, SAIS is truly an international institution, with campuses in Washington, D.C., Bologna, Italy, and Nanjing, China, that draw students from throughout the world. Unique among its peers, SAIS provides the opportunity for students to take advantage of all three campuses during their graduate experience—designing a degree program based on individual academic and professional interests. 
SAIS offers the building blocks of leadership in all professional fields: core functional disciplines, such as strategic studies and international development; strong emphasis on international economics; robust regional programs; and essential foreign language training.

Daniel Chavez Moran salutes all of the internationally recognized institutions supporting the efforts of the Vidanta Foundation. For more on Daniel Chavez Moran, the Vidanta Foundation and its affiliated institutions, read here.  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran On Latin America's Decade for Growth

Daniel Chavez Moran notes this interesting blog post from Mauricio Cárdenas, Director of the Latin America Initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.:

“Historically, experts have often characterized Latin America as a region with poor economic features: hyperinflation, fiscal populism, and costly industrial policies rife with corruption are just a few examples. However, experts are beginning to change their tune. In fact, many analysts are referring to the 2010s as Latin America’s decade. Last year, The Economist ran a special report, where the magazine turned the hemispheric map upside-down under the label ‘Nobody’s Backyard,’ suggesting that the region had learned from its previous mistakes and is entering a brighter phase. Although predicting the future is always dangerous, especially in a place where so many booms have ended in severe crises, the argument that Latin America is entering a decade of considerable opportunity does have merit.”

Cárdenas offers three interconnected reasons to make this point: The changing demographics of Latin America, the economic growth of China as a trading partner, and trends in global savings and liquidity. 

And he continues: “Whether Latin America can seize the moment and take advantage of this extraordinary chance to speed-up prosperity is still an open question. What is certain though is that there is no time for complacency or self-gratification...If Latin American leaders focus on this task ahead, this will be a transformational decade indeed. Otherwise, it will simply be another cycle of high and unsustainable consumption, a wasted opportunity of which the region has seen plenty in the past.”

Helping to address and resolve the economic and social development challenges faced by the nations and people of Latin America is what Daniel Chavez Moran focuses his philanthropy on through the nonprofit Vidanta Foundation he founded in 2005. Read more here about Daniel Chavez Moran and how the Foundation supports the integration of Latin America with the rest of the world through the strengthening of democracy and economic opportunity.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: For the Children

Daniel Jesus Chavez Moran remembers well the lessons his mother taught him, that is why he seeks to improve the lives of those less fortunate. Toward this goal, Chavez Moran created Fundación Delia Moran A.C. in 2002 to provide assistance to children ages 6 to 12 whose day-to-day life is a constant struggle. The foundation is named in honor of his mother, a great teacher who dedicated her life to helping children combat the destructive combination of ignorance and poverty. It has opened numerous cultural and educational centers to provide these children with medical assistance and opportunities so that they can become healthy, contributing members of the community.

Daniel Chavez Moran was pleased to note in recent news that El Salvador, Spanish for “the savior,” the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America is hosting the 8th Forum of Ministers of Social Development in Latin America.

The meeting is sponsored by the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), which reports that the President of El Salvador, H.E. Mr Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena, will participate in the opening session, as well as Pilar Álvarez Laso, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences. Representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, France, Honduras, Uruguay, Panamá, Perú and México will particípate, among others.

One of the expected results of the forum will be the design and implementation of strategic and efficient policies for development involving youth and social inclusion.

Daniel Chavez Moran salutes the efforts of these leaders to exchange ideas on the state of the art of policies for social inclusion in Latin America, a shared goal with the nonprofit Vidanta Foundation Chavez Moran founded in 2005. Read more on Daniel Chavez Moran, and his philanthropic work through the Vidanta Foundation here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chavez Moran: A Public Forum with Mexican President Calderón

Daniel Chavez Moran, philanthropist and founder of the Vidanta Foundation which works with internationally recognized institutions from all across the Americas to promote the study of intra-Latin American relations, recommends a recent video of Mexican President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa at a public forum cosponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Center and the Council of the Americas.

According to the Woodrow Wilson Center, an affiliated institution of the Vidanta Foundation: 

“In his prepared remarks given in English, Calderon stressed the deep economic interdependence that exists between the United States and Mexico and noted that one million U.S. families are employed by Mexican-owned companies. Calderon gave his remarks before a capacity crowd of approximately 600 attendees in the Amphitheater of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.”

In his address at the forum, which followed a day of meetings with U.S. leaders, including President Barack Obama, President Calderon “stressed the need for shared responsibility between Mexico and the United States in dealing with transnational organized crime groups. He compared organized crime to a ‘cancer’ plaguing Mexico, and highlighted his government's efforts to eradicate it.” 

President Calderon also “called on both countries to do more about migration. He noted that out-migration from Mexico is not good for Mexico and requires that Mexico do more in economic development. He also pledged to sign an immigration bill that would protect the right of migrants in Mexico in the coming weeks once Congress approves it. However, he noted that it was also important to create legal channels for Mexicans and others to come to the United States to work with legal documents.”

Watch the online video here. And for more about the philanthropy of retired businessman Daniel Chavez Moran, the Vidanta Foundation and Mexico’s path to the future, read here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Daniel Chavez Moran: Latin America Fast-Growing Retail Market

Daniel Chavez Moran and the Vidanta Foundation study the challenges and opportunities faced by the nations of Latin America in the 21st century global economy. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times reinforced the importance of Latin America as a fast-growing retail market in the announced expansion of Netflix, the online film and television subscription service, into Latin America.

“The Los Gatos, Calif., company, which boasts more than 23.6 million subscribers and has become the nation's No. 1 movie rental provider, announced Tuesday that this year it will expand into 43 countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean but not Cuba. The company did not specify a launch date.

“The news sent Netflix's stock soaring 8% on Tuesday, closing at a record $289.63. That put the company's year-to-date share-price increase at 65%.

“Though reports had previously indicated the company was eyeing a move south, analysts said few on Wall Street had expected it would boldly launch simultaneously throughout the entire region.”

The article continued:

“Netflix's decision to go into Latin America underscores the region's growing importance to Hollywood. In 2010 it was the fastest-growing market for movie ticket sales, according to the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Led by regional powerhouses Brazil and Mexico, total box-office revenue grew 25% last year.”

The Vidanta Foundation is a non-profit institution founded by Daniel Chavez Moran. Among its goals is the generation and spread of awareness of the factors determining the gap in political, economic and social development that holds Latin America back from achieving the standards of economic growth and welfare that characterizes developed countries.

Read more about philanthropist and retired businessman Daniel Chavez Moran and the work of the Vidanta Foundation here

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chavez Moran Celebrates the Growing Role of Women

As the proud son of a schoolteacher from Mexico who dedicated her life to helping children overcome the destructive combination of ignorance and poverty, Daniel Chavez Moran recommends this article on women in leadership roles in Latin America found in the Wall Street Journal:

“Latin America ranks second only to Nordic Europe in terms of the percentage of women elected to parliamentary-level posts, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, a grouping of legislative bodies world-wide. In countries such as Argentina and Bolivia, two of the most advanced in terms of women in national office, the percentage is well over 30 percent, according to data compiled by International IDEA, an intergovernmental agency that promotes democracy around the world.

“But sociologists and electoral scholars say multiple other factors have combined in recent decades to give women greater say in Latin American politics. For one, women for decades have held significant sway in community issues and grass-roots movements—female leaders and women's groups have fought for democracy and against dictatorships across the continent—even if top offices were held by men.

“As Latin America embraced democracy, toppling traditional parties and eroding once-powerful old-boy networks, new opportunities emerged in recent decades for female leaders, especially considering that female voters account for at least half of the electorate in most countries—and tend to vote for women.”

For more about Mexican philanthropist Daniel Chavez Moran and the Fundación Delia Moran A.C., which continues his mother’s work, read here.