World Economic Forum on Latin America kicks off in Sao Paulo
The theme of the two-day meeting, a regional version of the World Economic Forum which is held every year in Davos, Switzerland, is "Latin America at a Turning Point: Shaping the New Narrative."
Subjects including controversial U.S. tariff policy, fake news and online defamation -- a highly relevant matter to the upcoming Brazilian general elections, sexual harassment in the workplace, gender parity, new industrial perspectives for Latin America, and globalization will be discussed during the meeting.
The recent decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to slap 25-percent tariffs on steel imports and 10-percent tariffs on aluminum imports has caused an uproar in global markets and will significantly affect Brazil, so the country has publicly expressed concerns about the move and is reportedly considering taking the matter to international arbitration.
Sao Paulo State Governor Geraldo Alckmin supports free trade and has criticized protectionist measures at the opening ceremony.
"We defend open trade which benefits society, improve competitiveness, productivity and provides opportunities. So it is evident that we cannot agree with protectionist measures," he said.
Roberto Azevedo, head of the World Trade Organization, will address the forum and will talk about the U.S. tax policy and globalization.
The meeting is held amid Brazil's economic recovery. The country's gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1 percent in 2017, after two years of falling.
This is the third time for Brazil to host the meeting. The other two were held in 2006 and 2011.