By Laura Bonilla — COLOMBIAN president told Latin American businessmen the region’s nearly quarter billion poor could be their customers if they join with government to fight poverty. “Every Latin American that gets out of poverty is one more consumer,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said at the Business Summit of the Americas in Cartagena.
“That’s why it’s so profitable and so important that macroeconomic methods are translated into social improvement,” he said. Hundreds of entrepreneurs and several Latin American presidents attended the business meeting.
“Fighting poverty is a profitable business for everyone,” Santos said. More than 40 million Latin Americans have escaped poverty in recent years, but in 2010, 31.4 per cent of the region’s population — 247 million people — still lived in poverty or extreme poverty, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America.
Santos also suggested that US and Canadian entrepreneurs should think of Latin America not “as a region full of problems, but as a region full of opportunities.”