U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow is expected to visit Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia next week to discuss ways to promote economic growth and address social problems.

Treasury Secretary Snow said in a statement Wednesday that leaders of these nations are courageously working to put sound economic policies in place, encourage economic freedom, and invest in their people. Mr. Snow also says he is looking forward to visiting them.

U.S. officials say this will be Mr. Snow's first trip to South America as Treasury Secretary. In addition to meeting with government officials, Mr. Snow is expected to confer with leaders of local business communities.