Who are the most powerful businessmen present at the Argentina Business & Investment Forum?

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By: Diego Yañez Martínez / Source: Resumen Latinoamericano/ September 12, 2016.

Captura de pantalla 2016-06-28 a las 5.01.21 p.m.

The countdown has finally ended. On Monday morning, the Argentine Business & Investment Forum was held at the Néstor Kirchner Cultural Centre (CCK), in which over 1600 global, regional and local CEOS participated, at well as most of government Ministers.

The summit’s panel had some heavyweights. They included Tim Draper (founder of Draper Associates), Fahad Al-gergawi (CEO of the Dubai Investment Development Agency), Jane Fraser (Citigroup’s CEO for Latin America), Michel Hourcard (Senior Vice President of oil company Total for America) and Patrick Zhong, director of Strategy and Global Investment of the Fosun Group), among other foreign and Argentine businessmen. Furthermore, there were officials from other countries as the British Vice Minister of Foreign Relations.

Argentina's President Mauricio Macri speaks during the official opening session of the Argentina Business and Investment Forum 2016 in Buenos Aires, Argentina September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

Here is the list of the most important businessmen that attended the Summit:

1- Muhtar Kent

President and CEO of Coca-Cola. Muhtar Kent took charge of the multinational company since 2009. He is very close to Macri, in fact only in 2016 they met three times. In the Davos Summit, on January in Switzerland, he announced investments for the amount of 1,000 million dollars, over the next four years.

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2- Robert Warren “Bob” Dudle

He took up the lead of British Petroleum since 2010, after the dismissal of Tony Hayward because of the oil spill in the Mexican Gulf, which had the US on tenterhooks. Dudley is the first North American to be in charge of the British energy giant.

British Petroleum is one of the largest companies (in 2009, according to the “Forbes” ranking, it was in the 8th place). The energy company, which is dedicated mainly to producing oil and gas, has more than 80 thousand employers.

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3- Joe Kaeser

Kaeser is another CEO who promised Macri to invest. In May, he visited Argentina, met with the President and assured him that if the company were able to invest in strategic areas, they would be able to create 100 direct jobs and 500 indirect jobs in four years. One of the areas that interest this company the most is the area of “renewable energies”. A few days ago, they participated in a bid to become a technology provider.

It is focused on three business areas —energy, transportation and health— and with 340,000 employees, Siemens has global operations for 80,000 million euros a year. In Argentina, 1,300 people work and the annual turnover is of approximately 500 million euros.

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Kaeser is President and CEO of Siemens since 2013. In an opinion column published last Sunday in the Argentinian newspaper “La Nación”, the executive celebrated the end of the barriers to buy and sell dollars and the decrease in limits to foreign trade. “The bravery to carry out all these reforms deserve our respect, because these measures bring initial difficulties and the results can’t be immediately observed. However, the reforms are necessary to take the Argentinian economy to its full potential”, he said.

The German multinational company was in the center of a scandal during the government of Carlos Menem and Fernando de la Rúa. It was involved in bribes to take over with a multimillionaire business to administrate IDs and passports.

4 – Martin Sorrell

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CEO and founder of the WPP Sir marketing group, one of the biggest advertising and marketing groups in the UK with 194,000 employees and 3,000 offices worldwide.

A graduate of Cambridge and Harvard Business School, he cooperates with many schools in China, India and Brazil, among other countries. WPP is one of the “big four” of the advertising business.

Sorrell is considered to be the most powerful advertising executives of the world. He made the headlines during Cristina Kirchner’s government due to his anger with the directors of the local subsidiary of Young & Rubicam, when the then CEO and former partner Darío Straschnoy and the general creative director Martín Mercado released a publicity for the National Presidency in which they showed the Leader of the Hockey National Team, Fernando Zylberberg, training on the Malvinas Islands for the Olympic Games in London (2012). “To compete in British soil, we train in Argentinian soil”, the ad said. That publicity gave Sorrell several headaches as well.

5- Andrew N.Liveris

He is the President of Dow Chemical. On September 11, 2015, the company announced its merging with one of its main competitors, DuPont, creating DowDuPont and giving birth to the largest chemical company of the world, valued in 130,000 million dollars, of which Dow Chemical has a market capitalization of 66,000 million dollars and its value on the stock market exceeds 65,300 million dollars.

As informed by The Wall Street Journal, Liveris was in charge of handling the negotiation prior to the merging. He sought after the agreement for a whole decade. Together, both companies sell around 17% of the world’s pesticides and are the 3rd largest global supplier of chemical used in crops, according to the Investment Bank Morgan Stanley. Merged, the companies, control 41% of the North American market of corn seeds and 38% of the soy market.

La Nación found out that Liveris had arrived to Argentina in his private jet and stayed only for one day.

6- Paolo Rocca

His Curriculum Vitae speaks for itself. He is the CEO of Techint, a business group that invoices 26 thousand million dollars per year and has 68 thousand employers in more than 100 countries.

Paolo Rocca was born in Milan in 1952. He is a graduate in Political Science at the University of Milan and studied in a management program at Harvard University. He joined the leadership of the group in 2001, after the death of his older brother, Agostino, and since he took office he planned the aggressive incorporation of the group towards the global scenario, buying companies and landing on them with a strong business strategy.

7- Pedro Faria, global CEO of BRF

Faria is the President of Brazilian food company BRF, which has 96 thousand employers, and whose exports reach 120 countries. The company has 35 industrial units in Brazil, 6 in Argentina, one in the United Kingdom, in the Netherlands and in the Arab Emirates, as well as 35 distribution centers in different continents.

The company was born in 2009 through the merger of Sadia and Perdigao, which back then used to be two of the largest producers of chicken and pork meat of Brazil He announced investments for 2016, for US $ 292 million, which will seek to expand in Argentina where it is present with traditional brands such as Paty, Austral Campo, Sadia, Danica, Vienissima, Good Mark, Bocatti, Manty and Delicia, among others. It will grow from its current 2879 employees to 4500 and will invoice, according to their estimations, around 5.9 billion pesos.

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