The 2015 Latin American Business Association Conference is happening today, March 6.
@uclaanderson #uclaanderson #LABAconf2015
By Elise Anderson
The Honorable Liliana Ayalde, Ambassador of the United States to Brazil, is the keynote speaker at the 2015 UCLA Anderson Latin American Business Association Conference. Just before the conference launched today, Ambassador Ayalde shared some thoughts on current efforts to promote and support engagement between the two countries.
Noting similarities between the U.S. and Brazil, the ambassador indicated that there is much that the two nations share as two of the largest democracies and economies worldwide. In addition, Brazil boasts a growing middle class that is becoming more connected, thanks in large part to emerging technologies. In a country of 200 million people and the second largest economy after the U.S., “To be a player in today’s global market, you have to be a player in Brazil,” she said.
Ambassador Ayalde takes pride the country’s Scientific Mobility Program/Ciencia Sem Fronteiras, a scholarship program launched by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in July 2011 that sends Brazilian students abroad to study and conduct research in the STEM fields. So far, some 26,000 Brazilians have embarked on studies in about 300 different U.S. institutions. “Their lives are being transformed by those experiences, opening up their worlds and making connections personally and with institutions, which is a real plus for the future.
As a result of these engagements, innovation is getting a boost through research and development. “At the same time, we are looking for ways to overcome some of the challenges and issues that both of our countries face, whether it involves drought, food security or health issues. We have a lot in common that we can research together and are using the embassy to help navigate the bureaucracies — which can be difficult at times — and streamline processes and procedures.”
She encourages women interested in the international arena to consider diplomacy as an area of work, which entails balancing work/life schedules, “which you would have to do in any career. We need diplomats, particularly women, who have that emotional intelligence that can be very critical during intense periods, who can find ways to listen and find solutions.”
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