Saturday, November 6, 2010

Honduras Is Open For Business

Porfirio Lobo Sosa is going to Denver on Sunday, returning Tuesday night. He reportedly told a reporter for La Tribuna that he's going to hold discussions there with the Millennium Challenge Corpration and to talk about energy.

On Monday, November 8, Lobo Sosa will also give a talk in Denver entitled
Honduras Is Open For Business

at the Americas Presidential Forum Breakfast, hosted by the Chamber of the Americas at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. At this talk the President of Metropolitan State College of Denver will present Lobo Sosa with a "Token of Appreciation". According to the college's press release, also attending will be 17 "Honduran" dignitaries, including Foreign Minister Mario Canahuati and U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens.

The Chamber of the Americas is a private non-profit that facilitates US companies doing business in Latin America. In July, 2010, they sponsored a visit by US businesses to Honduras and were received by Lobo Sosa at the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa.

The slogan "Honduras is open for business" is the message developed by the Foundation for Investment and Development of Exports (FIDE) in Honduras after the 2009 coup. It complements their program, "Honduras Si Exporta" to promote Honduran goods abroad. FIDE was created by US AID in 1984. It is run by Hondurans but funding comes from US AID.

Lobo Sosa has given several talks to business associations in the United States. His April, 2010 talk in New Orleans was also strangely reported in the Honduran press. In September, 2010, a "Honduras is Open for Business" event was held in New Orleans a week after Lobo Sosa visited.

Lobo Sosa seems to like being away from Honduras. In June, he had already made 13 trips. He was preparing to embark on a multi-week stay in South Africa for the World Cup Soccer Match, a trip which ultimately would cost the country more than 2 million lempiras. Each trip seems to involve travel with multiple Ministers. The trip to Denver includes 17 people. Each of these foreign trips involves significant cost to the Honduran people. Because of the budget crisis, he has just asked all his Ministers to provide detailed reports of any trips abroad, including their purpose and what was achieved.

Perhaps Lobo Sosa should provide the same travel justifications to the Honduran people.

No comments: