Unasur Economy ministers and Central Bank presidents will meet Friday to agree on measures to help the region address the impact of the global crisis. The meeting takes place in Buenos Aires hosted by Argentine Economy minister and Vice-president elect Amado Boudou.
This will be the second time the Union of South American Nations Economy and Finance Council meets, the first was in August and the second was to be in October but the volcanic ashes impeded officials from arriving.
The Unasur group which represents 392 million people and 5.9% of the world’s GDP will have ministers, divided in three task groups deliver reports on areas considered crucial in anticipation of the world turmoil: international and regional trade, management of international reserves and regional financial institutions.
Colombia and Ecuador have to report on technical cooperation regarding management and movement of international foreign exchange reserves which amount to 570 billion dollars. One of the options considered is increasing the Latinamerican Reserves Fund, FLAR, which currently includes Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Another alternative is to create a reserves fund managed by Unasur or similar instruments.
Venezuela and Uruguay have to report on how to implement the use of local currencies for regional commerce in a way that helps boost trade among Unasur members as well as analyzing mechanisms for the financing of trade.
Finally Brazil and Chile must present a review of the Latinamerican Integration Association, Aladi, Payments and Reciprocal Credits Accord and the creation of Unified System for Regional Payments Compensation, known as Sucre.
Likewise the founders of the Bank of the South (Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Ecuador) are committed to accelerate the launching of the institution so as to have long term financial instruments and have invited other Unasur members to join the enterprise.
The region is also involved in strengthening the Andean Promotion Corporation that currently has 18 country members with a similar purpose of helping with infrastructure financing.
Unasur whose charter and founding document became effective last March is made up of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela.