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.