LATAM-ASIA: Integration Won’t Be Affected by Crisis

by Dave

The recently created Latin America Pacific Arc will not modify its strategy of integration with Asia “because of unfavourable financial circumstances” like the current crisis, Chilean Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley said Friday after the group’s fourth meeting in the Chilean capital.

The bloc, made up of Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru, ended its fourth ministerial meeting with the adoption of the Declaration of Santiago. Also participating in the meeting were delegates from Canada, as an observer, and from China, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

“The U.S. government also expressed an interest in seeking some kind of link in the future with the Latin America Pacific Arc,” Foxley told a press conference, adding that this possibility would be discussed within the group.

“We know that at this time there is enormous uncertainty in the financial markets. However, we want to make it clear that we are not going to modify the path to integration among the countries of Latin America (with Pacific shorelines) and their projection towards Asia because of unfavourable financial circumstances,” he said.

“Our commitment to work together and project ourselves as a bloc towards the Asia-Pacific region is stable, and is a medium to long-term undertaking,” he stressed.

“The 11 countries that are part of this forum share the view that in difficult times like the ones we are experiencing in our economy, we definitely need more trade, not less,” said Mexico’s deputy minister for international trade, Beatriz Leycegui.

Foxley said that one of the working groups identified 72 regional investment projects in infrastructure and energy.

The Asia-Pacific region is the fastest-growing region in the world, and in 10 years will account for 50 percent of all global trade, said Leycegui.

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