Summit of the Americas
JV Question to World Bank James Wolfensohn, Janet Reno and
U.S. Ambassador to (Venezuela) Davidow
JV Question to Wolfenson - summit
JV: The key word in everything that I have read with regard to the Free Trade Area of the Americas and world Bank materials - is partnership. In speaking with Isamil Serageldin in talking about the components of public-c-private partnerships we also confirmed profit. and that is what a bank does is make a profit. Could you kindly comment on the types of partnerships the World Bank is involved in, the business partners and the kind of profit you look for when you enter into these partners.
In IDA we charge 3/4 of 1% for 30 years. That is our main profit. I guess I would like to borrow money for less than 1% for 30 years. In the Bank, we currently lend 1`/4 of 1% above our costs which means our profit is 1/4 of 1% which means that on $100B, we make $250,000, our costs run $900,000 so let me tell you there is no profit. In partnerships--that s just the net. The lending is subsidized by the earnings on our capital. so we don't make a profit. it is cheaper for us not to lend money, frankly.
JV: so is that why you go into partnerships?
Wolfensohn: No it's not. We go into partnerships, not for monetary means. We cannot solve problems today unless you use your funds consistently with other institutions -- IADB, UN Organizations and with governments. The partnership with civil society is so that you can keep in touch with what is going on. You need partnership with the private sector. They are putting $250M a year in developing countries. the total amount of money--....net to poor countries of all the official institutions is $45M so the private sector is now six times the size of the official funding to developing countries that means you must have partnerships.
Question to Janet Reno:
JV: In the Summit of the Americas Principles it states the adherence on International law. Could you help me to understand how the role of international law or in what was international law is or will impact everyday Americas as the FTAA becomes effective?
I cannot speak in terms of a specific act but what we are trying to do is recognize in terms of public prosecution and criminal law in our country. We are seeing the impact of international crimes--drug trafficking or someone sitting in his kitchen in one country and through his computer hacking into a bank half way around the world and directing electronic transfers as a means of theft. I think that is why it is so important that we work together to ensure that our processes are harmonized so that we link together and make sure people are brought to justice. but where there are international procedures that protect against violations of human rights, then it is important that we adhere to those when possible.
JV: Do you see an integration as we become more combined to international law on the national level in America?
Reno: I don't think we are becoming more combined. It is my hope, particularly after I have had a chance to listen to so many wonderful stories about different cultures and different countries--their tradition and history--I think it is important that we honor the distinction and differences amongst us, but I think that what is vital is that we develop processes and procedures that help us ensure justice, protect human rights and avoid arguments, fusses and discussions about processes and rules as opposed to the basic issues which are when somebody commits a crime that they should be held accountable promptly, swiftly, and according to constitutional standards and when somebody's rights are trampled upon, they should be protected whenever possible.
JV Question to Mr. DAVIDOW - Expert on Latin America
Can you comment on the new architecture of the public-private partnership? Will the Free trade Areas be one large partnership or smaller ones? Who will be some of the partners?
Davidow: The free trade areas of the Americas is one large agreement. It is a single undertaking and every country of the region will be a member.
JV: Who will be the corporate members?
Davidow: There will be no corporate members of the FTAA.
JV: In a public-private partnership you usually have a number of different ones.
Davidow: No--There will be--No
Journalist Question to Davidow:
Do you fee that without fast track the Latin Americans have taken a more prominent role ?
Davidow: The point is that integration is not just a process between the U.S. and the countries of Latin America but among them as well as this is all to the good--our economy is strengthened as the economies of Latin America is strengthened . The greater level of free that they have among themselves is all to the good and we support them. President Clinton said when he visited Brazil last year, we support Mecosur but what has to be done with agreements that we enter into such as NAFTA, Mercosur or Carricom is that they should be --there should be nothing in those documents that would prevent greater regional integration. that's important so countries which come together for free trade--that good but its a step toward a larger free trade zone of the Western hemisphere.