County Asked To Woo Latin Banker Conference
Written by Dan Dolan on November 23, 2006
By Dan Dolan
Business leaders are asking the Miami-Dade County commission to help bring the Super Bowl of Latin American finance, the Inter-American Development Bank conference, here in 2008.
Representatives of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and Florida Free Trade Area of the Americas are expected to pitch the proposal to the commission at its public meeting next week.
In return for underwriting police protection for visiting dignitaries and help from the county’s Jay Malina International Trade Consortium, the local economy would get an infusion of at least $6 million as a result of business generated by an estimated 6,000 delegates to the conference, business leaders say. Hosting the prestigious event would increase Miami’s standing in the global trade arena, officials say.
"This would be quite a feather in our cap," said Tony Ojeda, director of the Malina trade panel. "It would prove beyond a doubt that Miami is the gateway to the Americas and a premiere city for business and finance."
Other cities have their eyes on the prize. Atlanta, Houston and Dallas have indicated interest in hosting the event, which would require up to $15 million in private contributions in addition to governmental expenditures.
Even if county commissioners agree to pay some of the costs, business leaders say landing the conference is a long way off.
Founded in 1959, the Inter-American Development Bank was the first global institution of its kind. Now, the bank has 47 member nations, including the US. It has made more than $137 billion in loans to help finance $326 billion in projects that promote economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean.