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Nearshoring and Sustainable Investment in the Americas Program

September 15, 2023

Nearshoring and Sustainable Investment in the Americas Program

By: Ana Gomez Garces (B'25)

Georgetown University’s Latin America Leadership Program at the McDonough School of Business and The Center for the Advancement of the Rule of Law in the Americas at Georgetown Law School collaborated with the HUGE Business and Investment Council, on a new program called Nearshoring and Sustainable Investment in the Americas. This course program explored how new regulatory frameworks and economic issues could benefit or challenge the Latin American region across different sectors while co-designing potential alternative solutions to applied scenarios and discussions.

HUGE invited 43 participants from private sector companies in the United States and Central America, and multinational companies with operations in the region, law firms, investors, and international organizations, to this pilot program from which they graduated and received a diploma certificate. The five-week virtual program went beyond a traditional academic curriculum, since it implemented an innovative method that promoted experiential learning. The curriculum offered a combination of frameworks, knowledge, and practical applications.

The agenda included sessions on nearshoring and its regulatory policies, due diligence on ESG, adaptive leadership, globalization, competitiveness and governance, supply chains, among others. Participants got the chance to attend lectures by  Professor Ricardo Ernst, Executive Director of LALP, and Alvaro Santos, Director of CAROLA at Georgetown Law. Other professors and speakers included: Diane Garza, Jose Antonio Muñoz, Nancy Vega, Humberto Cantu-Rivera, Andrea Pradilla, Eduardo Deschapelles, and Nicolas Perrone.

Before the culmination of the program, participants had to present an applied project, where they shared their proposed solutions to a defined problem or challenge related to Nearshoring that they were facing in their company or organization. Here, they were able to apply the skills and knowledge acquired during their time in the program. 

About HUGE and Nearshoring: 

The United States, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador all have a historic opportunity to capitalize on competitive advantages of nearshoring through coordinated regional activities. The HUGE (Honduras, USA, Guatemala, El Salvador) Business and Investment Council represents the first joint effort of private sector job creators from all three Central American countries and their United States counterparts to drive massive job creation in these countries. The goal of HUGE is to contribute to the creation of the "American dream" in the Northern Triangle through the generation of sustainable jobs, effectively reducing one of the key causes of illegal immigration to the United States.

“Nearshoring is a smart opportunity for shaping the future of Latin America, it could add an annual $78 billion in additional exports of goods and services in the region in the near and medium term (according to a report from the IDB). Our program is bringing together private sector leaders from the region who can drive change in this economic climate. We have designed a multidisciplinary program that will help them be prepared to be local partners to foreign investors,” said Ricardo Ernst, Baratta Chair Professor in Global Business and Supply Chain and Executive Director of the Latin America Leadership Program at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, during the opening ceremony of the program.

HUGE Founders Banco Cuscatlan and Ficohsa both sponsored at least 10 participants each, and Banco Industrial mobilized several participants from Guatemala. Federico Nasser, President, Imperia Capital/Banco Cuscatlan commented, “As Founders of HUGE, our mission is to make the Northern Triangle a point of reference for investment in Central America. That is why we are preparing entrepreneurs in our countries to take advantage of nearshoring opportunities and become the business partner that any American entrepreneur would want to have. The program developed by Georgetown University for HUGE that we are launching today is a concrete step in the development of nearshoring and massive job creation for our countries.”

Camilo Atala, President of the Executive Board of Grupo Financiero Ficohsa also commented: “We have made this program available to our customers to help them understand the practical implications of nearshoring opportunities and paradigm shifts in supply chains, as well as the technical, commercial, legal, and general challenges of conducting better business through real world examples. They will have the opportunity to learn about the different actors involved and network with other business leaders in the Northern Triangle and the United States. I am excited about Ficohsa’s collaboration as we work together to create the American dream at home for all the people of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.” 

Dr. Juan José Daboub, President of the HUGE Business & Investment Council also spoke to the students, “The Georgetown program, in collaboration with HUGE, focuses on specific business, legal, and public policy issues related to nearshoring opportunities for the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, and will address how investors can integrate a sustainable development lens as part of their investment strategies to prevent environmental, social and governance risks. We are very pleased to collaborate with Professor Ricardo Ernst and his colleagues at Georgetown University to offer you such a program, with the support of Ficohsa and Banco Cuscatlán.”

Source: press release from HUGE