Obama touts private sector for Central American development

San Jose, May 4 (EFE).- U.S. President Barack Obama noted Saturday the private sector's enormous potential for Central American development, and urged a combination in the region of good government and a free market.

The United States wants to find ways to improve trade relations with Central America, Obama said at the beginning of a business forum organized by the Central American Institute of Business Administration (INCAE), in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Obama also said that it is important to improve small-business development to make the whole region more competitive.

Cooperation on security issues between the U.S. and Central America is fundamental, he said, but added that equally important are topics like trade and immigration.

Also present at the forum, which began Friday and was to end Saturday with the participation of Obama, was the rector of INCAE, Arturo Condo, and Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla.

Taking part in the two days of debate at the forum were representatives of the private sector, civil society and the governments of the United States and the Central American nations, according to the White House.

The discussions focused on examining the possibilities of improving trade, energy integration and the participation of Central America's young people and women in economic development.