Titled "DR-CAFTA and Regional Economic Integration in the Americas: Opportunities for U.S.-Based Firms," the conference will run from 8:30 AM-4 PM at the Georgia Tech Research Institute's Conference Center (250 14th Street).
Organized by the Georgia Tech Center for International Business Education and Research (GT CIBER) and presented by United Parcel Service, the forum will feature area experts, business leaders, and government officials who will discuss topics of interest to those contemplating doing business in the DR-CAFTA nations: Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
"DR-CAFTA eliminates virtually all tariff barriers in a $33 billion trade market," says John McIntyre, executive director of GT CIBER. "Countless new business opportunities will arise from this agreement."
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, America already exports $15.7 billion in products to Central America and the Dominican Republic - more than the United States sells to India, Indonesia, and Russia combined. While 80 percent of Central American and Dominican products have entered the U.S. market duty free, U.S. exports to the DR-CAFTA countries have faced substantial tariffs. President Bush signed the proclamation to begin implementing DR-CAFTA February 28.
The Global Business Forum is designed for business decision-makers; export, marketing and operations managers; strategic business planners; legal practitioners; consultants; and academics with a special interest in the region. "We suggest sending a team of executives to the forum because pursuing international markets affects the entire company," McIntyre says.
Salvador Stadthagen, Nicaragua's ambassador to the United States, will deliver the forum's keynote address at a luncheon event from 12:15-2 PM. During the forum's Candid Industry Panels, experts will discuss proven strategies for outsourcing, exporting, joint venturing, manufacturing, and providing services in DR-CAFTA countries.
Co-organizers of the forum include the Georgia Department of Economic Development, U.S. Export Assistance Center, SunBelt Network, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hemisphere Inc., and U.N. CIFAL Center for the Americas/Atlanta. Sponsors include McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Merial Ltd. The U.S. National Centers of Excellence in International Business is also providing support.
The cost for the full conference is $80. Attending the luncheon only is $45. A reception from 6 to 7:30 PM at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center costs an additional $50. Special pricing is pricing is available for academics and members of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit the Global Business Forum website, where you can download a registration form, or contact James Hoadley at 404-894-4379 or .