Ministers of Economy: “Latin America Has the Potential to be a Source of Solutions”

At a conference by the Latin American development bank CAF, several Latin American economy ministers claim the region as a source of solutions to climate change and energy dependence .

CLXXIX Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Development Bank of Latin America

Photo: EFE/ Borja Sánchez-Trillo


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Leer en español: Ministros de Economía de la región: “Latinoamérica tiene potencial de ser fuente de soluciones”

Several Latin American Ministers of Economy, Treasury and Finance on Wednesday claimed the region as a "source of solutions" to the challenges of the future, especially climate change and energy dependence , and demanded to deepen relations with the European Union.

At a conference of the Latin American development bank CAF held at the Casa de América in Madrid, the heads of these areas from Peru, Uruguay, Colombia and the Dominican Republic defended the potential of the region and what it can offer its partners.

One day before tomorrow's meeting in Santiago de Compostela (northern Spain) between ministers from these areas of the European Union and their Latin American and Caribbean counterparts, which will be held for the first time, the Peruvian head of Economy and Finance, Alex Contreras , recognized that Latin America "has been seen in recent decades as a source of problems."

"It is also important to convey the message that it has many of the solutions to the world's problems, particularly for the energy transition," added the Peruvian, who considered that the region has "many lessons" to learn from the European Union, but It also "has a lot to contribute" in terms of "resources, capabilities and youth."

"There are enormous challenges and needs to provide improvements for our citizens, so we must generate consensus on what is most important," he said.

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Adapt the economy

Azucena Arbeleche, Uruguayan Minister of Economy and Finance, highlighted the country's "great commitment" to "sustainable development" and gave as an example of adaptation the fact that in Uruguay "the livestock industry coexists with the conservation of the native forest."

Arbeleche stressed that economic policies "must address sustainable development" , not only "for the future" of the planet but because "in strictly economic terms we are facing a new paradigm of how it is produced, marketed and invested."

Ricardo Bonilla, head of the Treasury and Public Credit of Colombia , shared that his country is "one of the most exposed to climate change" and explained the areas of renewable energy that they are developing to reverse these impacts.

Among them, he highlighted the solar and wind energy that the country produces but also alluded to the "problem" of "dependence on oil and coal exports", something that forces them to "reindustrialize the country" and "return to industries with content traditional but new technologies".

The Minister of Finance of the Dominican Republic , José Manuel Vicente, drew attention to "the great challenge of education" in his country, in his opinion, "the greatest equalizer of opportunities."

"It is the best way to eliminate the inequality that exists in Latin America, it is a challenge with several dimensions because the issue cannot be treated in a single way," stressed the minister, who pointed out that one of the objectives of the Dominican Government is " recover the 10% of young people" who did not return to the classrooms after the pandemic because, among other reasons, "those who do not go to class are the most likely to commit crimes."

Deepen relationships

The second vice president and acting Minister of Economy of Spain, Nadia Calviño, recalled for her part that "one of the priorities" of Spain is to "deepen relations with Latin America" , as well as that the country "has a key role to play as a door" between both blocks.

Along these lines, he stressed that relations between the EU and Latin America "are very important", also the commercial ones, which "increased by 43% in the last ten years": "The European Union is the leading investor in South America and invests 20 times more than China."

Also the CAF president, Sergio Díaz-Granados, asked to "take advantage of Spain's presidency" in the EU, (which started in July and will continue until the end of the year) and its "effect" so that it is "lasting" and the relationship between both regions is more stable and intense.

The "objective", in the Colombian's opinion, "is not easy": "Reconcile the fiscal, social and environmental agenda to achieve sustainable development, we live in sensitive times and citizens expect concrete solutions, we hope to live up to it."

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