Monday, January 28th 2013 - 06:45 UTC

Merkel invites Latam to invest in EU: “we’re open” but pls dump protectionism

Leaders from the European Union and the Community of Latinamerican and Caribbean States concluded on Sunday a two-day summit with pledges of boosting bilateral trade and while few concrete details were released, the two economic blocs expressed a clear wish for stronger ties.

The most powerful woman in Europe next to Mexico Peña Nieto and host Sebastian Pilñera

Chilean President Sebastian Piñera closed the weekend summit in Santiago by urging the EU and Latin America to “join forces for a better future.”

“When one half of the world is living in a recession, the other half can't sustain its own economic growth,” said Piñera. “Now is the time to act to transform good intentions into results,” he added.

His words echoed many of the speeches made there by leaders from the EU and CELAC.

The representatives from the 61 countries in attendance agreed to a stronger alliance which would support economic growth and job creation with an eye on sustainable development.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who garnered much of the spotlight in Santiago as one of the EU top leaders, emphasized that the debt-stricken EU had much to gain from trade with Latin America, where growth remains steady.

“This is now a strategic relationship between equal partners,” she said, adding that her Europeans partners must continue regaining confidence from investors.

“The most important thing for countries here is that they have the impression that we in the Euro zone are overcoming the crisis together, and not leaving some countries hanging.”

However the German leader also underlined that ”no one should think that (current economic) difficulties can get better through protectionism“. She added “the cooperation should be guided by values and principles and without commercial barriers, even in hard times.”

Merkel, the first German chancellor to visit Chile in 22 years, invited Latin American countries to invest in Europe: “We're open.”

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called for “deeper and balanced” ties between the EU and CELAC. Describing Latin America as “one of the engines of world growth” Ayrault expressed hope that the regions would capitalize on their “complementarity.”

Both blocs called for a speedy conclusion of a free trade pact. Negotiations have so far stumbled over differences on agriculture, notably Europe's subsidies to its farmers, which undercut Latin America's products.

The EU and CELAC are scheduled to meet again in Brussels in 2015.

The CELAC delegations are scheduled to hold their own summit in Chile on Monday, during which Cuba will take over the body's chairmanship as Chile's term concludes.

18 comments Feed

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1 JuanGabriel (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 08:47 am Report abuse
I suspect there are plenty of people accross the EU that wouldn't be shedding a tear if the Farm Subsidies were reduced.
2 reality check (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 09:09 am Report abuse
You would be right.
3 ElaineB (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 09:52 am Report abuse
Um, the French would be apoplectic.
4 willi1 (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 10:49 am Report abuse
germany, too!
5 CaptainSilver (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 11:05 am Report abuse
If you fly South of Nurnenberg you will be able to view the German strip farms, probably the most inefficient farms in Europe and a relic of medieval practices. It highlights what farm subsidies are about.
6 reality check (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 11:43 am Report abuse
How can anyone call an agricultural policy, that pays farmers money, not to grow crops, a success.
7 JoseAngeldeMonterrey (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 01:23 pm Report abuse
CELAC is nothing but empty speeches, good intentions and stupid ideology. The organization was born dead and merely became a piece of paper from the moment it excluded Canada and the United States, advocating its regional spirit to please banana republic mojigat0s like the Castro Brothers, the Evos and the Chavez of the region.
8 Idlehands (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 01:23 pm Report abuse
The demise of the CAP has been British foreign policy since joining the common market. It would be rather remarkable if Argentina helped us secure that aim.
9 GeoffWard2 (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 02:10 pm Report abuse
Re Elaine #3
The Irish are already apoplectic about Polish horsemeat, the British are somewhat exercised about 20 odd EU nations keeping sows illegally in crates, and everybody's concerned about growth hormones in livestock flesh and offal.

If LatAm and EU could sign some common agreements on 'meat' mixtures, husbandry and contaminants this would be ideal.

'From small acorns ....”
10 ElaineB (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 02:26 pm Report abuse
@9 I really don't understand the uproar over horse meat. It isn't illegal to eat in the UK and I have eaten many unusual meats on my travels.

I agree about the husbandry and care of animals even if they are destined for slaughter. EU countries are supposed to be developed and should, therefore, be able to afford good practise. Whilst not desirable, it is somewhat more excusable in third world countries where food has to be produced as cheaply as possible or people starve.

My concerns are strongly with the use of chemicals, antibiotics and tampering that leaves our food far less nutritional - and in some cases more deadly - than decades ago. It that progress?

Have you seen the stories circulating about children being served up in North Korea? Unbelievable, I think.
11 Troy Tempest (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 04:42 pm Report abuse

“Have you seen the stories circulating about children being served up in North Korea? Unbelievable, I think.”

Shades of Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal ??
12 GeoffWard2 (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 06:15 pm Report abuse
Hi Elaine
The horse/cowmeat issue is akin to Starbucks selling acorn-adulterated coffee as the real stuff.
Brand image is valued at $billions, and that's what's at steak.
“Smell the coffee!”
13 ElaineB (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 06:31 pm Report abuse
Yeah, I understand that. I don't understand the squeamishness.
14 GeoffWard2 (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 07:24 pm Report abuse

I've eaten horses for courses in Paris and, like you, all sorts of mammals and reptiles in various parts of the world .. but I REALLY don't like the holothurians of South East Asia. OK, so I'm a wuss.

I once ate a turtle egg in Penang but the guilt got to me. So much so that latterly I've supported the Tamar Project. Thousands of turtle eggs re-buried, hatched and helped along the way; that, and the research on Humpbacks, both based at Praia de Forte in Bahia, is the way we retired ecologists get our kicks.
15 briton (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 07:46 pm Report abuse
she only wants you lot,
because we are leaving the sinking ship,

you would be wise to leave as well .lol.
16 ElaineB (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 08:27 pm Report abuse
@14 LOL. Not you. In the British press the outrage seemed more about eating horse than the fact that their might be something worse going into their cut-price burgers. I suspect this has been going on for years.

I particularly love the range of meat on offer in South Africa. In some countries I have no idea what I have eaten and that is probably for the best. :)
17 GeoffWard2 (#) Jan 28th, 2013 - 08:32 pm Report abuse
UK has a bit over 40% of its international trade with the EU, but with a nett trade deficit. The UK does not dominate Germany's trade thinking - whether the UK leaves the EU or stays within is largely immaterial, Germany, the UK and the rest of the EU states want and need the Mercosur agreement. Mercosur, non-paradoxically, needs the EU agreement ... whether it wants it or not.
18 briton (#) Jan 29th, 2013 - 01:30 pm Report abuse
The fact is,
it does not matter how much trade we have with Europe,
nothing will change, if we are in or out,
just european scare mongering to keep us locked in .

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