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Summit in Latin America

"Our development is mutually dependent"

Stepping up investment in everybody's interests was one goal of the summit that brought together the states of the European Union and Latin and Caribbean states. Germany and Chile signed an agreement on mining and the extractive sector.

Summit in Latin America - pooling forces for sustainable development Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chile's President Sebastián Piñera Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel

Before the summit began Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed bilateral issues with the Chilean government, and attended an Economic Forum.

Germany and Chile – strategic relations

Talks between Angela Merkel and Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera covered a wide range of subjects: business, energy and the environment, culture, and science and research. Cooperation was also stepped up on issues relating to the extractive sector. The Chancellor said, "Chile is a rich land in terms of raw materials. There are many possible avenues of cooperation. The very fact that we have signed an agreement on cooperation in the extractive sector here today demonstrates how our relations are developing in a strategic direction."

The Chancellor was accompanied by a business delegation including representatives of medium-sized businesses with special links to Latin America in general and Chile in particular. She spoke to a European-Latin American Economic Forum on economic-policy issues.

Stepping up investment

Thereafter the Chancellor attended the seventh summit of the European Union with the states of Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2011 the latter founded CELAC, the Community of Latin America and Caribbean states. The summit addressed an Alliance for Sustainable Development to Promote Investments of Social and Environmental Quality. It also looked at growth and equality of opportunity.

The German government and the European Union called for enhanced investment in Latin America and the Caribbean in the interests of all parties concerned. The aim is to make bi-regional cooperation an alliance for sustainable development.

Pressure against protectionism

Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out against every sort of protectionism. "We are extremely concerned about certain protectionist trends in some countries. Obviously we do not share all political views either." Nevertheless she had the impression, she declared, that by far the majority of summit participants are committed to free trade.

At the summit the leaders adopted a political declaration and expanded the Action Plan previously adopted at the Madrid Summit in 2010.

Working together to overcome the euro crisis

The Chancellor called on participants to redouble their efforts to tackle the financial crisis. "Our development is very much mutually dependent," she said on Sunday, the final day of the summit. We must work on competitiveness and tackle budget deficits. "The most important thing for the countries is that they have the impression that we, the euro zone, are mastering the crisis together, not leaving any individual countries in the lurch."

Summit for a billion people

The "strategic partnership" between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean embraces all EU member states and all states of Latin America and the Caribbean (which are together home to about one billion people). It was founded in June 1999 at the first EU-LAC summit in Rio de Janeiro.

The partnership builds on the regions’ shared cultural legacy and shared values. It embraces close political, economic, cultural, scientific and technological cooperation.

The bi-regional partnership consists of a closely interwoven network of diverse relations, activities and cooperation mechanisms. It comprises the government level, alongside civil societies, parliaments and businesses. The wide spectrum of events illustrates the broad base on which cooperation stands. The partnership has been developed at five summit meetings to date (Madrid 2002, Guadalajara 2004, Vienna 2006, Lima 2008 and Madrid 2010).

CELAC - Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños
CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean states, which was founded in December 2011 in Caracas is the success of the Rio Group and the Latin American and Caribbean Summit on Integration and Development (CALC). Its members include 33 sovereign states on the American continent; only the USA and Canada are not represented. The Community is primarily intended to foster political dialogue, and economic, social and cultural integration among member states. In the short term, infrastructure links between countries in the region are to be enhanced to encourage exchange within the region.

Jan 28, 2013