San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Clinton, regional ministers to talk development

WASHINGTON – United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton next week will visit the Dominican Republic for talks with her Canadian and Latin American counterparts about boosting economic growth in the hemisphere.

Clinton, U.S. officials said, will travel Wednesday to Santo Domingo to join ministers and others from the Western Hemisphere – though not Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela – at the fourth “Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas” event.

“This is a high-level meeting of government officials, policy makers, business leaders, academics and representatives from international organizations from across the Americas who will share best practices in order to promote an inclusive economic area and growth and prosperity throughout the hemisphere,” Clinton spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

Pathways to Prosperity country partners are Western Hemisphere countries “committed to democracy and open markets,” the State Department said.

Current participants are Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and the United States.

It said the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean are “also partners in this initiative to promote inclusive growth, prosperity and social justice.”

During a Pathways to Prosperity meeting in Costa Rica in March 2010, Clinton pledged to back female entrepreneurs, promote small business and modernize customs procedures as part of U.S. efforts to boost regional prosperity.

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