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Beware of self-complacency Iglesias tells Latin American leaders

Tuesday, October 18th 2011 - 18:57 UTC
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The Ibero-American secretary general says Latam is far from having reached the Promised Land  The Ibero-American secretary general says Latam is far from having reached the Promised Land

The Ibero-American summit scheduled for October 28/29 in Paraguay will be ‘much dominated’ by current global events said Secretary General Enrique Iglesias who also warned on the risks of self-complacency in Latin America.

“The big issue today is to moderate at least a bit, that feeling of complacency, and debate about how to handle the negative impacts that can arrive from outside the region”, said Iglesias in Madrid to announce details of the event.

The current world crisis, according to Iglesias is signalled by what he defined as “asymmetries” which means some countries are doing ‘fine’ and others ‘bad’ and this happens both in the developed and the developing worlds.

Furthermore there are “clear public discrepancies” as to how to address the situation. The US wants to press ‘the accelerator’ while in Europe they “are looking for stability before thinking about growth” and this has markets “very nervous”.

“If we want to recover confidence we must attempt that political messages are clear and loud, otherwise we will also be creating mistrust towards politics”, said Iglesias.

So far Latin America has profited from the world situation and has expanded at “Chinese rates” and even more encouraging the region is discovering “it has the capacity to resolve problems on its own”.

But it is also true that the dynamics of growth for Latin American depends of conditions out of its control: an improved situation in the developed world and that China where there are “increasing economic, social and environment risks” continues expanding at the same level.

And Latin America has its own internal problems particularly the risk of “self complacency”.

“There has been an excess of optimism in Latin America in recent years as if we had reached the Promised Land. Latin America has many efforts pending to address the multiple social problems it faces”, said Iglesias among which he mentioned ‘equality of opportunities, of shared wealth”.

In the coming XXI Ibero-American summit Iglesias said that the evolution of relations with China will be addressed, an issue he described as ‘complicated’.

“They are very important relations: China is a major locomotive of world growth for Latin America and particularly South America” said Iglesias who nevertheless warned about some risks and worries that are related “to competition and the exchange rate”.

Another issue of the summit’s agenda is the transformation of the State: “what kind of state does Latin America need to face all its pending debts” and to face the coming world, “ever so complex and difficult”.

“I think we need a state that does not suffocate markets but also if it does intervene it has its parameters and does the right things”, concluded Iglesias.


Categories: Economy, Politics, Latin America.

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