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New Direction
27th-28th February 2020 Madrid Spain
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La Convención Azul I.
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La Convención Azul

La Convención Azul is New Direction’s pre-eminent free-market forum, taking place on February 27th-28th in Madrid, Spain.

La Convención Azul brings together the foremost free-market advocates and thought-leaders from business, government, academia and the non-for-profit sector from across Europe and the Americas, in order to shape the debate on how trade and digital economy can become the driving force of global growth.

From keynote speeches to topic-driven panel discussions, La Convención Azul will provide participants with valuable insights into the ideas that are shaping our time and our century.

The agenda for this event reflects on major policy challenges in the digital economy and trade including:

• The digital market in Latin America: setting regulation to promote its development;

• Creative industries in digital convergence and the growth of intelligent mobility; and

• How free trade can spur economic growth between Europe and Latin America.

The event will be held in English and Spanish.


"In recent decades, trade has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, whilst allowing consumers in the developed world to benefit from an abundance of cheap goods and new technologies, Therefore, whilst the rhetoric across both the developed and developing world is dominated by protectionism and pessimism, the path to future prosperity points in the opposite direction, towards freer trade and open markets. La Convención Azul marks the beginning for this collaboration, which promises to deliver a more prosperous future for all our citizens."

Tomasz Poręba MEP
President of New Direction; First Vice Chairman of Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly

"La Convención Azul provides a forum that encourages and values discussion and rigorous debate. I believe that free markets, individual liberty, private property, unrestricted commerce and small government are the ultimate instrument of poverty alleviation, conflict resolution and social justice."

Naweed Khan
Executive Director, New Direction

"Without economic development, any potential for political openness and freedom will be questionable."

Jose Maria Aznar
Former Primer Minister of Spain

"Without private enterprise, there is no creativity. Science and education stall. Human progress is delayed. Freedom cannot be divorced from free enterprise."

Alvaro Uribe
Former President of Colombia

“Property rights are crucial in establishing a climate conducive to economic prosperity and freedom within a country.”

Hernando de Soto
President ILD

"Poland’s economy is among the fastest in the EU to go fully digital. We are committed to contribute to further developing Europe’s digital economy and invite all to work with us. Growth and jobs, as well as the EU’s global competitiveness are at stake here. We can do it together."

Beata Maria Szydło
Former Prime Minister, Poland
Venue
Speakers

Our past distinguished guests and speakers have included: Tomasz Poreba MEP, President of New Direction and Vice President of the Polish Olympic Committee, Poland; Sérgio Sá Leitão, Minister for Culture, Brazil; Hernan Lombardi, Minister of Public Media and Content, Argentina; Daniel Hannan MEP, President of the Institute for Free Trade (IFT), UK; Professor Ryszard Legutko MEP, co-Chairman of ECR Parliamentary Caucus, Poland; Adina-Ioana Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport, Romania; Jeff McElfresh, CEO of DirecTV Latin America, USA; Guibert Englebienne, CTO and co-founder of Globant, Argentina; and many more.

Tomasz Poreba MEP
President, New Direction
Juan C. Flores
Vice President, AT&T
Dr Marta Cantero Gamito
Assistant Professor of Law at CUNEF and Associate Professor of IT Law at the University of Tartu
Martin Callanan
Business and Energy Minister, UK
Javier Fernández-Lasquetty
Minister of Finance and Public Function, Community of Madrid
Enrique Medina Malo
Chief Policy Officer, Telefonica
James Wharton
Former UK Minister
Diego Sanchez de la Cruz
CEO Foro Regulacion Inteligente, Researcher at Instituto de Estudios Económicos
Mehreen Khan
Brussels correspondent, Financial Times
Marta Blanco
President, CEOE Internacional
Alexandros Koronakis
Editor & CEO of New Europe, Belgium
Isabel Benjumea MEP
European People's Party
Isabelle Mauro
Head of Telecommunications, World Economic Forum
Robert Gerber
Political and Economic Counselor, US Embassy, Reykjavik
Daniel Lacalle
Chief Economist, Tressis
José Ramón García Hernández
Former Member of the Congress of Deputies of Spain
Naweed Khan
Executive Director, New Direction, Belgium
Hernán Lombardi
Former Minister of Public Media and Content, Argentina
Pascual Fernández
Vicepresident Spain’s Economists Association & President Madrid’s Economists Association
Arminio Muñoz Bravo
Director of Public Policy Spain and Portugal, Mastercard
Jorge Sicilia
Chief Economist of BBVA and Director of BBVA Research
Agenda

The agenda for this event reflects on major policy challenges in the digital economy and trade including:

• The digital market in Latin America: setting regulation to promote its development;

• Creative industries in digital convergence and the growth of intelligent mobility; and

• How free trade can spur economic growth between Europe and Latin America.

The event will be held in English and Spanish.

Friday, 28th February

9:15h – 10:00h

Registration

10:00h – 10:15h

Opening Address

Tomasz Poreba MEP – President, New Direction, Poland

10:15h – 11:00h

Panel

Europe and the Americas – Shaping Global Competitiveness

Digitization now impacts every segment of social and economic life. The coming fourth industrial revolution will only deepen societies’ dependence on online platforms and internet-enabled devices, creating new opportunities for large internet companies to continue to expand into traditional sectors. This panel will explore tools and frameworks that can help to preserve and enlarge competition and innovation in light of increasing global convergence among different economic sectors.


Moderator:

Alexandros Koronakis – Editor & CEO of New Europe, Greece

Panelists:

Arminio Muñoz – Director of Public Policy Spain and Portugal, Mastercard

Jorge Sicilia – Chief Economist of BBVA and Director of BBVA Research

Robert Gerber – Political and Economic Counselor, US Embassy, Reykjavik

Pascual Fernández –Vice-president Spain’s Economists Association & President Madrid’s Economists Association

11:00h – 11:45h

Panel

Digital Taxes, IP, and Content – How the right regulations help attract global investment

The internet and the benefits of digital products and services are not confined by borders. This session will explore how national governments and industry can cooperate to develop fair, transparent, and comprehensive standards in areas such as digital taxation, intellectual property, and content production.


Moderator:

Jose Ramon Garcia Hernandez – Former Member of the Congress of Deputies of Spain

Panelists:

Dr. Marta Cantero Gamito – Assistant Professor of Law at CUNEF

Diego Sanchez de la Cruz – CEO Foro Regulacion Inteligente, Researcher at Instituto de Estudios Económicos

James Wharton – Former UK Minister

11:45h – 12:15h

Break / Networking

12:15h – 1:00h

Fireside Chat

Future of a Connected World

The 4th industrial revolution promises to connect all people and things through an intelligent mobile network, how are business preparing and transforming to this newly connected reality. What are some of the consumer benefits to this new world and how quickly will the ubiquity of this transformation be felt. What are some of the challenges that industry faces regarding the deployment of infrastructure and how important will that be to achieving a connect world that all consumers can access.


Moderator:

Isabelle Mauro - Head of Telecommunications, World Economic Forum

Panelists:

Juan C. Flores – Vice President International External and Regulatory Affairs AT&T

Enrique Medina Malo – Chief Policy Officer, Telefonica

1:00h – 1:45h

Panel

Global Economic Impact of Brexit on Trade

The official departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union will continue to reshape the flow of people, goods, and services across key economic sectors. Experts will discuss what we can expect from the next phase of negotiations, how the economies of the UK and EU might adapt, and how the global landscape for trade might shift in response to this new political reality.


Moderator:

Mehreen Khan – FT Europe Correspondent

Panelists:

Lord Martin Callanan – Business and Energy Minister, UK

Isabel Benjumea MEP – European People’s Party

Marta Blanco – President of CEOE International

Daniel Lacalle – Chief Economist, Tressis

2:00h – 2:15h

Conference Keynote

Javier Fernández-Lasquetty – Minister of Finance and Public Function, Community of Madrid, Spain

2:15h – 3:00h

Closing Address

Hernan Lombardi – Former Minister of Public Media and Content, Argentina

2:15h – 3:00h

​Networking Lunch


“The idea that governments should restrict the right of individuals to exchange their hard work for goods and services at an agreed price in an open market is one of the gravest infringements of personal liberty I can think of.”

Liam Fox
Former Secretary of State for International Trade, UK

“No country ever got rich by increasing taxation. No country ever built a strong economy by clobbering itself with tax after tax after tax.”

Tony Abbot
Former Prime Minister of Australia

“Not for us the anger and grievance of the Left. We conservatives are motivated by love – love for our nations, our laws, our families, our institutions”

Daniel Hannan MEP
President, Initiative for Free Trade

“Never cease to remind the world what competitive capitalism has achieved.”

John Howard
Former Prime Minister of Australia

“What does conservatism mean? Do not change what works but be ready to change what does not work. Be ready to get rid of sclerotic institutions, obsolete regulations and outdated ideologies.”

Jan Zahradil
ACRE President

"Poland’s economy is among the fastest in the EU to go fully digital. We are committed to contribute to further developing Europe’s digital economy and invite all to work with us. Growth and jobs, as well as the EU’s global competitiveness are at stake here. We can do it together."

Beata Maria Szydło
Prime Minister, Poland
Venue

La Convención Azul is supported by the following partners: