The Associated Press November 15, 2010, 4:08PM ET

Economic officials from 34 countries meet in Ga.

Public and private sector officials from 34 countries are gathering in Atlanta to discuss strategies to strengthen the competitive edge of the Western Hemisphere.

More than 1,000 participants, many from Latin America, are expected to attend this year's Americas Competitiveness Forum, which started Sunday and runs through Tuesday.

Roundtables and discussions were to focus on innovation, green technologies, education, work force development, entrepreneurship, small business development and trade facilitation.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez were all set to help lead discussions.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue addressed the forum's keynote luncheon.

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