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Webcast | Sink or Swim: Latin America's Biggest Companies See Meager Help in Mega-stimulus

Date & Time

May. 6, 2020
1:00pm – 2:00pm

Webcast | Sink or Swim: Latin America's Biggest Companies See Meager Help in Mega-stimulus

The Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged Latin American economies, throwing tens of millions of people out of work and crushing the livelihoods of informal workers who make up half the region’s labor force.  In response, most governments in the region have swiftly imposed quarantines, invested in struggling health care systems, and provided emergency support to vulnerable communities with little or no savings and small businesses with limited access to loans.

But so far, the region’s leaders have largely excluded Latin America’s biggest businesses from stimulus measures.  The desire to address the poor and most vulnerable enterprises makes sense in the initial pandemic response.  But it is raising questions about the potential economic impacts of bankruptcies among Latin America’s titans, particularly in hard-hit sectors such as hospitality and aviation.  As the region’s largest employers, these firms have an outsized impact on employment and overall economic activity.  How have these companies succeeded in softening the economic blow to their workers?  What is their capacity to survive a prolonged period of lockdown or a slow economic recovery?  What government policies are needed to get them back on their feet?  Given tight budgets in the region, is there a tradeoff between reactivating large firms and supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises?

Please join us for a webcast on Wednesday, May 6, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., EST, with four leading private sector leaders and conveners:

Hosted By

Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

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