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Montevideo, November 13th 2018 - 02:48 UTC

Foreign debt, priority of the Rio Group agenda.

Thursday, November 4th 2004 - 20:00 UTC
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Foreign Affairs ministers and coordinators of the 19 Latinamerican country members of the Rio Group were giving this Wednesday in Rio do Janeiro the final touches to the documents to be signed during the presidential summit Thursday and Friday.

Diplomatic sources anticipated that the documents from the XVIII summit will emphasize in the need for mechanisms to help alleviate the burden of foreign debt and "innovative" financial tools to help finance infrastructure projects.

The foreign debt issue has become quiet pressing for Latinamerican countries overall arguing that these commitments seriously limit investment in infrastructure. Actually the subject was central in the previous Rio Group summit held in Cuzco, Peru.

One of the "innovative" mechanisms under consideration sponsored by Brazil and Argentina is changing accountancy rules in such a manner that infrastructure investment is not computed as outlays and therefore does not inflate budget deficits. Apparently the initiative is being discussed with International Monetary Fund experts.

Other points in the final document include describing the Rio Group as a "regional dialogue and political understanding organization".

Multilateral relations and the delicate situation in Haiti as a "challenge for Haitians and Latinamericans" is sponsored by Brazil and Chile. Brazil commands the multination peacekeeping force under United Nations mandate but the commitment will be to put Haiti, (the region's poorest nation) back on rails to democracy and development.

Finally there will be mentions of support for Argentina's claim over the Falklands/Malvinas and regarding its recent payment proposal for the 80 plus billion US dollars standing defaulted bonds.

The Rio Group started in 1986 is made up of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Guyana.

Categories: Mercosur.

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