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Release: Immediate

U.S.-Latin America business opportunities is focus of conference Oct. 31

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Business executives and political experts from the United States and Latin America will explore the growing ties between the two regions as part of a conference at the University of Iowa Friday, Oct. 31 for business people and educators interested in pursuing such international opportunities.

"Latin America: Business Potential and Political Prospects," will be in Room W401 of the Pappajohn Business Administration Building. Events begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration. The final session begins at 3:30 p.m.

Guests include Juan L. Cariaga, executive director of World Bank programs for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay; Lon Jennings, Latin American territory manager for Sauer-Sundstrand; Scott Erickson, senior marketing manager for corn in North and South America, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.; and Barry Ames, Andrew Mellon Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Pittsburgh.

William Albrecht, professor of economics at the UI and an organizer of the conference, says several factors point to the importance of a strong relationship between U.S. and Latin American companies.

"U.S. merchandise exports to Latin America and Caribbean countries reached$50 billion annually in 1996, double what they were in 1990," Albrecht says. "By the year 2005, the United States hopes to establish a free trade zone for the entire hemisphere."

"Forward-thinking executives, scholars and students in the United States are looking to Latin America as a land of opportunity as the competition with European and Asian firms intensifies," he says.

The conference is the second in a series presented by the UI College of Business Administration and is funded in part by a grant from the Business and International Education program of the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the Principal Financial Group.

Advanced registration is required. The registration fee is $100.

The program is designed for people with serious interest in international trade, finance, marketing and business development, such as international business development directors, directors of strategic planning, and scholars of Latin American economics, political science and business.

For more information, contact William Albrecht at (319) 335-3125 (email: or Sarah Richardson at (319) 335-1379 (email:

Or visit the Latin American project's website at