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Carmen Vergara, Secretary General, Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA)


Women have a significant participation in small and medium enterprises around the world, and some countries have enacted legislation and created initiatives to invest in their social and economic development. Despite this, challenges remain to create a framework of gender equality, respect and peace for women to incorporate into the productive world. This working session will evaluate the current status of women's economic autonomy, with a focus on Latin America and Central America in particular. The panellists will discuss national and regional initiatives to support women-led SMEs, increase their productive capacities, facilitate their expansion, provide increased access to credit, and secure their insertion into regional and global value chains. It will also evaluate the importance of regional and international coordination to eliminate cultural, social, and institutional barriers that prevent trade from becoming a truly inclusive process.


  • Arancha González, Executive Director, International Trade Centre (ITC)
  • Diego Ruiz, Vice President, Global Public Policy and Government Affairs, PepsiCo
  • Aida Michelle Ureña De Maduro, President, Panama’s National Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP)
  • Cristián Rodríguez, Lead for Trade and Investment Policy, World Economic Forum (WEF).