Dec 1

Past Event

A Conversation on the Future of Central America: The Challenges and Opportunities of Infrastructure and Energy


Brookings Multimedia content requires JavaScript. Your browser either doesn't have JavaScript or doesn't have it enabled.

Instructions to enable JavaScript.


Central America is a region with great economic potential, but to improve productivity levels and achieve successful integration into the global economy, Central American countries must dramatically increase their investment in infrastructure. The isthmus could see further economic gain from investment in the power grid and the development of clean energy.

On December 1, the Latin America Initiative at Brookings and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration hosted a discussion on the opportunities open to Central America and the role of the public and private sector in the development of infrastructure and energy projects. Two panels of experts examined these issues, followed by a keynote address by José W. Fernández, assistant secretary for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

After each panel, speakers took audience questions.

Event Agenda

  • 9:00 AM -- Introduction

  • 9:15 AM -- Panel 1: Opportunities and Challenges for Infrastructure in Central America

    • Moderator

    • Hugo Beteta

      Sub-regional Director

      United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

    • Karla Hernández

      Regional Manager, Central American Electrical Interconnection System

      Empresa Propietaria de la Red

    • Maria Lorena López

      Vice Minister of Public Works and Transportation

      Republic of Costa Rica

  • 10:45 AM -- Panel 2: The Energy Challenge for Central America

    • Moderator

      Charles Ebinger, Director, Energy Security Initiative; Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy
    • Johanna Mendelson Forman

      Senior Associate, Americas Program

      Center for Strategic and International Studies

    • Pablo Rodas

      Chief Economist

      Central American Bank for Economic Integration

    • Álvaro Umaña

      Senior Research Fellow, EfD-Central America Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center

      Former Costa Rican Minister of Energy and Environment

  • 12:15 PM -- Keynote Address


December 1, 2011

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM EST

The Brookings Institution

Saul/Zilkha Rooms

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105