Alliances that Promote Economic Development in MERCOSUR

Montevideo, Uruguay, March 30, 2016. "It is important to make alliances that complement us in order maximize resources," Olga Lucía Torres of Colombia summarized the experience of having been part of the NexLinks regional program titled "Business Development Support Systems" held in Montevideo, Uruguay, from March 14-18; the 5-day workshop had the participation of over 30 professionals.

The words of Torres, who serves as Senior Professional of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogota (CCB), make us reaffirm that the success of a business is the result of collaboration between various actors who support a person’s entrepreneurial dream.

This example also reflects the results of an alliance between two continents driven by the Organization of American States (OAS), the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) and the State of Israel. This alliance enabled Uruguay to receive technical cooperation through a workshop to transfer new tools, content and methodologies focused on strengthening the management capabilities of the actors that make up the business ecosystem. The audience was made up of people from various regions of Uruguay, as well as people from Argentina and Colombia.

The Uruguayan training program was preceded by a similar program in Asuncion, Paraguay from March 7-11. Implemented in partnership with the Paraguayan-American Chamber of Commerce Foundation (Fundación AMCHAM), the audience in Paraguay was composed of representatives from the public, private and academic sectors. Guillermo Levinton and David Boruszek were in charge of conducting both workshops on behalf of the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center (MASHAV) of Haifa, Israel.

Both in Paraguay and Uruguay, they formed working groups that had the responsibility of constructing a proposal for the installation or expansion of a Business Development Support Center. In this way, the proposals created from both workshops would respond to needs and gaps that business support centers have in the covered areas of the participating organizations in each workshop.

Luis Viguria, Chief Executive Officer of the YABT, participated via videoconference in the closing ceremony of the workshop in Montevideo, stating that “the strategic partners and counterparts of the program demonstrate commitment to strengthening the pillars of the Uruguayan business ecosystem by supporting youth and their solutions to problems around them.”

Viguria highlighted the leadership of Eugenio Bidondo and Martín Lezcano of the YABT Uruguay, he also thanked the Embassy of Israel in Montevideo, the National Agency of Economic Development, the OAS representatives, and the rest of the actors that supported YABT Uruguay and that presided over the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Edgar Maestre, the YABT Programs Director for Latin America, did likewise for the closing ceremony in Asuncion, held March 11. Maestre emphasized “…Today more than ever we must unite efforts and resources so that entrepreneurship continues to be a tool for thousands of young Paraguayans.” The ceremony took place in the headquarters of AMCHAM Paraguay and was also presided over by the Vice Minister of SMEs of the Ministry of Industry and Business, Ms. Lorena Méndez de Gustafson; the Ambassador of Israel in Paraguay, Mr. Peleg Lewi; the OAS Representative in Paraguay, Mr. Diego Paz Bustamante; and the President of the AMCHAM Foundation, Mr. Roberto Urbieta.

YABT and their local partners will continue to work closely in the monitoring and development of complementary training activities, among other initiatives, supporting the actions derived from each of the programs developed in MERCOSUR.

NexLinks is a regional program of the YABT focused on the creation of mechanisms and tools to support entrepreneurs in the beginning and expansion phases of their businesses. The program also promotes missions and regional meetings to exchange experiences. To learn more about the YABT, follow this link:

For further information, connect with the YABT through Edgar Maestre, via


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