Chilean diplomacy has been active preparing for the next G-20 meeting in Mexico which it plans to attend as a “special guest”, but also because the future could hold an even greater prize if Argentina’s erratic behaviour finally is no longer acceptable for the rest of the group’s members.
Such a possibility was seriously considered on the sides of the recent G.20 Finance and Trade ministers meeting in Mexico where Chilean Economy minister Pablo Longueira was specially invited.
“For many ministers at the meeting it’s hard to understand why Chile, such a successful country is not a member of G-20”, said Minister Longueira who admitted Chilean diplomacy has been in very low key negotiations on the issue.
The issue emerged strongly among the members of the club that brings together the leading world economies following on Argentina’s seizure of YPF, which might lead to an agreement on sanctions regarding the country’s membership and for which Chile is considered an excellent candidate.
Over the weekend both the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal openly proposed the issue given that Chile “has long surpassed Argentina in economic and political development”.
But not only President Sebastian Piñera will be present in June at the G20 meeting, so will Colombia, another potential candidate which has made strong strides in economic, social and political development.
“What can be perceived is the extraordinary reputation of Chile, and such a decision values even more the steps towards greater opening of the economy and free trade we are currently undertaking” said Longueira.
“Although the issue was not in the agenda all countries from Europe, the US and Australia were categorical in rejecting the decision from the Argentine government seizing a private oil company. But there was no formal presentation since it was a ministerial meeting” added Longueira.
The chairman of the Chilean Foreign Affairs Commission in the Lower House, Jorge Tarud was also cautious about Chile’s interest and in what conditions.
“It’s no mystery that Chile would like to be a member of G20, but not replacing Argentina. We have much to offer as an emerging economy and that is why we have been invited to the coming meeting” said Tarud who warned that the Argentina/Repsol conflict could be counterproductive for Chilean interests.