Saturday, January 26th 2013 - 20:59 UTC

Major summit in Santiago with inverted roles: EU knocks on the door of Latam

Representatives from sixty countries begin Saturday in Santiago de Chile the two day summit which breaks with recent tradition: Latin American countries, full of economic confidence, are hosting their European partners and are expected to volunteer to help with Europe’s economic problems.

Germany’s Merkel, Spain’s Rajoy, Brazil’s Rousseff and Mexican tycoon Slim have been announced at the summit

The seventh summit between the European Union and Latin American and Caribbean nations since 1999 is also the first in which the Latin American countries will meet with European partners under their newly-formed grouping, the Community of Caribbean and Latin American States (CELAC), created in late 2011.

Forty odd leaders are expected to attend the gathering, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and European Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, EU Foreign affairs and security commissioner Catherine Ashton and Heman Van Rumpey president of the European Council.

From Latin America, presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico and Raul Castro of Cuba are some of the outstanding names to attend.

There will be a few conspicuous absences. Outspoken Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is recovering from cancer surgery and is to be represented by Vice President Nicolas Maduro. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa is currently on leave to campaign for re-election next month.

The summit theme is “Alliance for Sustainable Development: Promoting Investments of Social and Environmental Quality,” and it will feature the European Union in a search for new markets and fresh funds, immersed as it is in a serious financial crisis.

“Our longstanding partnership with Latin American and Caribbean countries is based on the conviction that both sides have common interests in today’s inter-dependent world and greatly benefit from working together”, Barroso said ahead of the gathering.

Perhaps more than ever before, there is a sense that both regions stand to gain from a partnership.

“The region is integrating itself in the world, reducing poverty, creating jobs despite the global crisis. So we hope to launch a new era in relations with Europe, one that is less based on aid or assistance and that is more based on co-operation and equality” said Chilean President Sebastian Piñera.

Europe provides 43% of all foreign investment in Latin America and the Caribbean and is “by far the largest investor in those countries,” Christian Leffler, a senior EU diplomat for the Americas, said.

In fact, European investments in Latin America and the Caribbean exceed the sum of European investments in Russia, China and India together the official noted.

“European actors are very important for the Latin American economies — and the Latin American economies have become even more important to Europe,” Leffler said.

Not so long ago, it was Latin America that courted European investors to boost its stagnant growth.

These days, it is European investors that actively attempt to carve out a bigger space for themselves across the Atlantic, in a fast-growing region led by new global giant Brazil. The competition is tough as other big players of the world economy, most notably China, are also lobbying for a share of the pie.

Europeans will further seek investment from Latin America, in a changed world in which the wealthiest man, according to Forbes magazine, is Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim.

The Old World has some concerns about this contemporary scenario, and in Santiago it will seek legal certainty for its businesses, among other pursuits. Last year saw major transatlantic controversies, for example, as Argentina nationalised YPF, which belonged to Spain’s Repsol. Bolivia did the same with a local subsidiary of Spain’s Red Electrica.

Other thorny issues such as protectionism and subsidies are expected to be discussed.

The 60 countries coming together in Santiago have a combined population of 1.1 billion.

It will also be a rare chance to see Cuban President Castro, who is generally not fond of such events but actively supports CELAC as a forum for the Americas without the United States and Canada, in a major international stage.

24 comments Feed

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1 Think (#) Jan 26th, 2013 - 10:00 pm Report abuse
New times.....
Nice to meet with our European friends in more equal conditions....
Nice to meet without the prescence of our North-American friends....
New times indeed......
2 Frank (#) Jan 26th, 2013 - 11:11 pm Report abuse
'Latin American countries, full of economic confidence, '
I see there is no mention of Argentina or KFC.... I guess she will just be there as an 'observer'....
Cuba has a better economic 'model'.
3 Think (#) Jan 26th, 2013 - 11:57 pm Report abuse
(2) Frank the Yank

No mention of Argentina....?
Educate yourself, Yank...
4 Frank (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 01:11 am Report abuse
Thicko, I am well aware she is going, however she is not consider of sufficient import to get a mention in this article. An inconsequential old boot from an inconsequential country..
5 Gustbury (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 01:32 am Report abuse
Mercoprees&4Frank@,idiots Argentina is a one of principals players in this history!! suckers
6 Frank (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 01:37 am Report abuse
Principal player? They have just been told to get their shit together by the EU. Argentina is a bit player at this beano..
7 Anbar (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 01:54 am Report abuse
“Argentina is a bit player at this beano..”

Its hard for the EU hard to trade fairly with a country that set out to be protectionist, steals company assets wholesale and lies about its every economic figure.

Brazil, Chile however: different kettle of...
8 expbrit (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 04:58 am Report abuse
How appropriate that the first 3 names on the list are German, Spanish and Portuguese. South America in a nutshell.
9 Elena (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 06:13 am Report abuse
Hope more good news come from this summit.
10 DanyBerger (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 09:12 am Report abuse
“According to Global Trade Alert, an independent body monitoring commerce, Argentina is the world's worst offender when it comes to protectionist measures because the policies affect so many industries and sectors all over the world.”

I highlight “because the policies affect so many industries and sectors all over the world”

Argentina is the second engine in the region after Brazil like it or not.

In fact EU have signed trade agreements with Mexico, Colombia, Perú, Chile and some others.

But without Brazil and Argentina in the deal EU has no hope in busting its exports to the region.

Angela, try to be nice and save your comments for local consumption please because like this is more probable that barriers will be rise even more for German and EU products.

Brazil and Argentina will not give up any dollar in trade without having something lucrative in exchange.

So France time to end farming protectionism in EU harm more than the benefits EU can get.

Just a thought...

BTW no any mention of Britain or Camoron is that everybody is just assuming that the Idiots English speakers will be pariah in Europe when they exit the union?
11 Think (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 09:30 am Report abuse

Anybody ”Thinks” it is a coincidence that Argentina lifted its import restrictions just a few days before the CELAC-EU meeting?

Anybody ”Thinks” it is a coincidence that Mercosur raised their import tariffs to WTO’s allowed maximum of 35%, just a few days before the CELAC EU meeting?

Anybody ”Thinks” it is a coincidence that Frau Cristina and Frau Dilma told Frau Angela, in very unambiguous terms, that if the EU wants a “Free Trade” agreement with Mercosur/Unasur, it will have to be one recalculated in 2013 terms; not the old “Unfree Trade” European proposal of 2004 ?

This time we will making the money and you will be doing the work….
God knows you need it. (The work)
New sheriff in town…..
Get used to it
12 mastershakejb (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 09:55 am Report abuse
Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Panama, Mexico. Those are pretty much the only countries in LatAm I'd want to do business with, as a Westerner. Not because they countries or the people in them are “better”, but because the policies are business friendly, and consistent. The rest of LatAm has highly inconsistent policies and bloated, inefficient government spending.
13 Tobers (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 11:15 am Report abuse
Think - youre making a big appearance in this story. Been very quiet on all the others of late. I guess this story is easier for you to crow about than most of the stories coming out of the failed state of Argentina at the moment.

Countries that have the leverage will use it so whatever happened in the past or happens now in trade between nations is just the way it is. To insinuate that any LATAM country wouldnt and isnt using its leverage for its own interests is foolish at best. A -Fair playing field- is only what both parties are willing to concede and has nothing to do with being -fair-
14 Britworker (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 12:43 pm Report abuse

The EU will collapse without the UK, we give them way way too much money for them to want us out, plus it's been very easy for other countries who are equally not happy with the way things are going, like Sweden , The Netherlands, Denmark and the Czechs, to hide behind the UK and let us do all the moaning.
Once we leave, those countries know that they can either put up or shut up, my guess is that we will not be the only county to leave the EU and any break up will bring the whole thing crashing down.

Our ideology is very close to that of the Germanic and Scandinavian countries and the last thing Germany or the US wants for that matter, is Britain out of the EU. France is a very protectionist country and is more akin to Spain and Italy, countries where the rules only apply if it suits them.

So you are going to see lots of bargaining going on and the UK is likely to get much of the concessions it wants and Cameron knows this.

If we don't get those concessions we will leave and remain a member of the common market and to be honest, most Brits would be happy with that, but we won't be the only ones to leave!
15 Conqueror (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 02:00 pm Report abuse
@1,3,11. Were you going to make a “comment” of any moment? Then why didn't you? Just how many EU members are actually FOR having any agreements with your third world states? Who's going to make sure argieland actually sticks by its agreements. It never has yet.
@5 Argieland couldn't be a principal player in a game of “Snap”.
@10 Argieland isn't an “engine”. It's a brake. WHEN Britain leaves the EU, it will automatically be more than £19 BILLION per year better off. There are many other ways in which Britain will benefit. WE will choose with whom we trade. IF argieland ever gets a look into Britain's new global trading empire, it will be on a simple basis. IN CASH and UPFRONT. And, if we want anything, you'll get paid when the goods have been delivered and inspected. The cesspit of south america cannot be trusted.
@14 Couldn't agree more. Let's hope we're out soon. Before 2015. Far better to be trading with 179 states than 26! Why have so many people in Britain forgotten what made us great? We traded with the world. We created three empires on that basis! All the way from 1497.
16 surfer (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 03:26 pm Report abuse
'Argieland isn't an “engine”. It's a brake.' arf!
17 ElaineB (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 08:01 pm Report abuse
CFKC did not stay for the closing dinner but met privately with Piñera. “Fernández asked for the two leaders to be totally alone and without any witnesses”. Why does that sound shady?
18 Frank (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 08:13 pm Report abuse
And they meet straight after lunch as she hadn't been invited to stay for dinner.....

The meeting probably went along the 'more support over the malvinas or I'll show you my tits....' line.
19 Steve-33-uk (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 08:58 pm Report abuse
'President of Bolivia Malvinas compares case with maritime claim to Chile'
20 redpoll (#) Jan 27th, 2013 - 11:51 pm Report abuse
You know Think is a bit like the Argentine navy destroyer that sank at the dockside. The holey trinity wasnt it? Think is thoroughly thunk methinks
21 Ayayay (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 03:38 am Report abuse
@14, perfectly said.
22 Trunce (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 10:43 am Report abuse

Iceland has suspended EU entry negotiations. President Olafur Grimsson was interviewed by Sky News at Davos conference and commented on EU and Northern block including UK.

Also moans about being put on terrorist list by Brown, for doing an Argentina - not paying IceSave banking collapse debt (case presently before EFTA Court - ruling 11.30 GMT today ).
23 Musky (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 12:53 pm Report abuse
@15 Conk
In the business forums, the CBI and practically every businessman interviewed on the telly have said they felt it would harm business. I mean the UK is going to spend £32 billion just to shave 1 hour on the rail journey from london to manchester, so £19Billion (1.5% of GDP approx) is bugger all.
I want the economic benefits but I want our country to be free to run its own affairs with minimal deference to Brussels. Perhaps I'm idealising and there is no middleground.
24 DanyBerger (#) Jan 29th, 2013 - 06:06 pm Report abuse

“Our ideology is very close to that of the Germanic and Scandinavian countries and the last thing Germany or the US wants for that matter, is Britain out of the EU”

????????? are you joking again? Riken salchichen!

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