On July 3, the first round of debates took place at AmCham to launch The Great Corporate Debate 2012 – an annual debating competition organized by AmCham and El Mercurio that is designed to give Chilean professionals a chance to practice their English and public speaking skills.
In this round, Walmart beat Siemens arguing for the motion “Chile should have a Ministry of Culture”, and Maersk defeated Bechtel arguing that “wind, geothermal, hydro and solar sources of clean power are the best solution for Chile´s future energy concerns”. On July 5, DHL triumphed over the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy, debating against the motion that “Public transport in Chile should not be subsidized”. In the other match-up, Banco Santander edged out Metlife affirming that “Chile should increase the Presidential term from four years to six”.
The final debate will be held on August 14 at the offices of El Mercurio. In last year’s final, the team from the Foreign Ministry’s International Economic Affairs Office, Direcon, defeated Walmart.
This year, as in previous years, the moderators are Michael Combes and Drina Rendic, who have been the drivers of this initiative since its conception. The panel of judges is composed of Philip Ilabarra, James Newbold Arnold Cotton, Gonzalo Biggs, Luciano Claude, Robert Kinsman, Karen Poniachik, Ricardo Ossandón, James Channing Jr. and Mike Kinsberg.