The World Business Angels Investment Forum has announced that Manuel A. González-Sanz, Costa Rica’s former Foreign Affairs Minister (2014–2018) and Minister of Foreign Trade (2004–2006), will represent Costa Rica as a High Commissioner at the Grand Assembly of the world’s biggest angel investment forum. González-Sanz has also served as his country’s Ambassador to the United Nations and its Specialized Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland.  

(WBAF) High Commissioner González-Sanz is to represent Costa Rica at the Grand Assembly of the World Business Angels Investment Forum. The inclusion of Costa Rica in WBAF provides a wide range of opportunities for Costa Rica’s start-ups, scaleups and high growth businesses and opens the doors for economic development.

As a former Minister of Foreign Trade, Mr González-Sanz is well-placed to lead an economic development commission at the World Business Angels Investment Forum. Drawing on his experience as former Ambassador to the United Nations and its Specialized Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland, he will lecture in the WBAF Business School’s Certificate Programme in International Diplomacy for Entrepreneurship. He will also serve as a board member of the Diplomacy in Action for Entrepreneurs group.

Costa Rica’s increased involvement in the global action plans of the World Business Angels Investment Forum will open up splendid opportunities for the country. Local Costa Rican angel investors, incubation centres, accelerators, private equity funds, co-investment funds, technology parks, corporate ventures and aspiring entrepreneurs will now have more opportunities to connect with global leaders in their particular fields.

González-Sanz’s leadership at WBAF as President of an Economic Development Commission will provide a broad range of opportunities for start-ups, scaleups and high growth businesses and will open doors for economic development, not only for Costa Rica but for other countries in the region as well.

Baybars Altuntas, Executive Chairman of the World Business Angels Investment Forum, says, ‘As an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnerships for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), WBAF supports start-ups, develops entrepreneurial ecosystems, and helps venture capital and companies connect with international companies, fintechs and other relevant institutions. We are confident about our contribution to the economic development of countries by facilitating connections with entrepreneurial ecosystems. We strongly believe that Costa Rica and the Central American region in general will benefit from the efforts of Mr González-Sanz to empower the start-up economy of the country through entrepreneurship, innovation and angel investment’.

González-Sanz states that ‘engaging WBAF in the economy of Costa Rica and Central America is a good response to COVID-19. In the post-pandemic business environment, scaling up businesses demands special skills of entrepreneurs, who are obliged to secure financing as quickly as possible. WBAF will play an instrumental role in connecting Costa Rican entrepreneurs with qualified investors around the globe. I believe that if Costa Rica is able to establish the first WBAF country office in Central America, this will empower both the Costa Rican economy and the regional economy as a whole’.

About the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF)

As an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) is committed to collaborating globally to empower the economic development of the world by fostering innovative financial instruments for startups, scaleups, innovators, entrepreneurs and SMEs and to promoting gender equality and women’s participation in all sectors of the world economy. WBAF invites you to join our global efforts to ease access to finance, promote financial inclusion, and create more jobs and social justice.

WBAF accomplishes its mission through various parties and channels. These include: 361 high commissioners, senators and international partners from 105 countries; 7 country offices on 5 continents; the WBAF Business School and its more than 50 faculty members from 32 countries; and 5 international working committees. WBAF also has an angel investment fund, partnerships with 12 global institutions, and economic cooperation agreements with 5 governments. The WBAF World Congress, held in February of each year, hosts at least 5 summits and numerous other events, including a Global Fundraising Stage and a World Excellence Awards ceremony. WBAF also boasts a number of publications, among which are the WBAF Business School Journal, World Class Startup Magazine, and Angel Investor Review Online.

About GPFI

The Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) is an inclusive platform for all G20 countries, interested non-G20 countries, and relevant stakeholders to carry forward work on financial inclusion, including implementation of the G20 Financial Inclusion Action Plan endorsed at the G20 Summit in Seoul. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands is the Honorary Patron of the GPFI.

About Manuel A. Gonzalez-Sanz

As a Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica , May 2014 – May 2018, he led, managed, defined and executed foreign affairs policies of the Republic of Costa Rica. Established a new way of promoting Costa Rica’s foreign relations by moving from a traditional Foreign Policy approach towards an External Action Strategy, accurately identifying the interests and priorities of diplomatic management. The general objective to be reached was to move from traditional geopolitical approaches to effective linkages with strategic partners. Defined multilateral action as a platform for the promotion of the fundamental pillars of Costa Rican foreign policy, prioritizing the impulse towards a diplomatic innovation, managing to promote  a creative capacity of the country’s offices abroad to act as commercial and tourism promotion and investment attraction agencies. His interest in exploring new geo-political spaces and identifying potential strategic partners allowed the country to move quickly to foster relations with countries in the Arab world, Central Asia and Africa, as well as to develop a dynamic management to the so-called transpacific strategy that pursues greater levels of cooperation with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

As a Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica Oct., 2004 – May 2006, he led, managed, defined and executed external trade and investment policies of the Republic of Costa Rica. Implemented free trade agreements ratified by the country.  Led political efforts seeking approval of DR-CAFTA with the United States of America.  Conducted multilateral trade negotiations in the context of the World Trade Organization.  Member of the Economic Council of the Costa Rican Government. Collaborated in the definition of sensitive legislation regarding the opening for competition of the insurance and telecommunications markets and  modernization of the telecommunications and energy state-owned institutions. Concluded negotiations with the Inter-American Development Bank for the financing of the Country’s Competitiveness Program.  Active member of  WTO’s Director General Consultative Group, a group of 25 Trade Ministers out of the 150 members. Chaired  Board of Directors of Procomer, Costa Rica’s External Trade Promotion Agency.

As an Ambassador to the United Nations and its Specialized Organizations Geneva, Switzerland, 2002 – 2004, he headed Costa Rica’s delegations to meetings, assemblies and working groups in Geneva, Switzerland, including among other international organizations, the following: International Labor Organization, International Migrants Organization, World Health Organization, Conference on Disarmament, World Intellectual Property Organization, International Telecommunications Union, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, World Meteorology Organization, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.



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