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Samuel Johnson once said, "The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are."
Although penned by an 18th century English writer, the idea holds true in today's highly connected world of search bars, tweets and breaking news. Our portfolio managers' research trips to foreign countries authenticates the data from a Bloomberg terminal or an earnings report. Treks add tacit knowledge to our wealth of explicit facts.
Last week, I was in Peru and Colombia with former president Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra in conjunction with the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership.
I've been involved with this impressive organization since its inception. I love how it brings together private companies, government and communities in developing regions of the world to eradicate poverty by growing jobs and training local workers.
As part of the trip, Clinton signed an agreement between the foundation and Peru's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism to promote and reward hotels and restaurants that buy from local producers.
Each group will give $450,000 over the next three years to train local producers to become suppliers for Cusco's hospitality and restaurant sector. All told, suppliers should bring in more than $5 million in income over the next five years and benefit more than 1,800 people, according to the Clinton Foundation.
In Cartagena, Colombia, Clinton and Giustra celebrated the opening of a warehouse that will provide a local supply chain for the area's hospitality, restaurant, catering, and supermarket sectors, as well as the Acceso Training Center, which will train about 20,000 local residents over the next 10 years to work in the hospitality sector.
Moving beyond Latin America, other U.S. Global portfolio managers are finding exciting opportunities on their travels. When Michael Ding recently traveled to Thailand, he immediately identified a potential investment as soon as the plane touched down in Bangkok.
And with emerging Europe growing faster than its western counterparts, Director of Research John Derrick, and Portfolio Manager Tim Steinle are headed to Warsaw and Prague to visit with local companies and management. We are optimistic about many expanding opportunities in this area of the world.