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Under Secretary Fernandez’s travel to Colombia, Panama, and Brazil

Mar 17, 2023

Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez will travel to Bogotá, Colombia, March 17-18, Panama City, Panama, March 19-20, and Brasília and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 21-23, to promote key Administration goals, including in the areas of global health, food security, supply chain resilience, the environment, and regional economic cooperation throughout the Western Hemisphere.

The Under Secretary intends to deepen collaboration with Colombia’s Petro administration on key environmental, economic, and energy issues. He will host the first Economic and Health Dialogue of the Americas (EHA) high-level ministerial meeting in Panama, launched at the Summit of the Americas last June. Finally, Under Secretary Fernandez plans to build on President Lula’s successful February 10 visit to Washington to engage more closely with the new Brazilian leadership as it determines important policy positions on the environment, energy, food security, critical minerals, agriculture, and other economic issues.

During his visits, Under Secretary Fernandez will meet with government, business, civil society, and other stakeholders to discuss cooperation on some of the most pressing global challenges, including supply chain resilience, health, and food security, the clean energy transition, and climate change, protecting the environment and promoting critical and emerging technologies. He will also use what our countries have learned from COVID-19 to work together to prevent the next pandemic. There are also opportunities to advance several country-specific digital/telecommunications and commercial advocacy goals.

In Bogotá, the Under Secretary will promote engagement through the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity to advance a positive economic agenda for the region and discuss U.S.-Colombian joint projects to protect the environment and telecommunications advancements. He will also hear from the private sector and civil society voices on climate change mitigation, the clean energy transition, and labor rights.

In Panama City, Under Secretary Fernandez will lead the U.S. delegation at the first high-level dialogue of the EHA, facilitating conversations among senior health and finance officials across the Western Hemisphere to strengthen countries’ resilience against future pandemics.

In Brasília, Under Secretary Fernandez will meet with senior government officials, business, and civil society leaders to discuss expanding U.S.-Brazil cooperation in clean energy, health, resilient supply chains, sustainable agriculture, labor, and environmental protection. In Rio de Janeiro, Under Secretary Fernandez will meet with environmental NGOs, key health actors, clean energy advocates, and accelerators for women’s economic empowerment.

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