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LATIN AMERICA | 18-07-2023 15:39

Alberto Fernández in Brussels: 'Developing countries need cooperation in productive investments'

Argentine president addresses EU-CELAC summit in Belgium before meeting with Italian premier Giorgia Meloni.

Within the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States taking place in Brussels, Belgium, Alberto Fernández celebrated the formation of “this space of bi-regional dialogue to approach the common challenges facing” both communities.

During his speech, the President stated on Tuesday that developing countries must “achieve a fuller and more virtuous insertion into value challenges and receive a substantial volume of financing” through “cooperation in productive investments”.

In the same vein, he pointed out that “there are such difficult problems” as “hunger, poverty, inequality, lack of decent work, deterioration of the environment, increased violence, discrimination and loss of political and social dialogue, in a setting of geopolitical tension”. He added: “Despite this context, the global outlook offers a new opportunity”.

“The reconfiguration of value chains, resulting from the pandemic and the war, can generate great drive for decent work, with proper rights, wages and conditions which are, as we all know, sine qua non requirements for the economic and social development of our peoples,” the chief executive highlighted when informing Télam news agency.

Fernández stressed that Latin America and the Caribbean “have natural resources, workers and scientific and technological capacity to enter these new chains and further energy transition and digitalisation”. He underlined that the contribution of Latin America and the Caribbean “cannot be confined to the export of raw materials.”

 

Economic backing

“The financing capacities of our countries are limited”, Fernández specified, and insisted: “You must have heard me call attention to the reforms we need in international financial architecture”.

Given the adverse international context where the pandemic, the war between Russia and Ukraine and the effects of climate change, the Argentine head of state pointed out that “the International Monetary Fund has not been able to find the time and willingness to review their overcharging policy and the capital available in development banks is still insufficient”.

 

Invasion of Ukraine

During his address, Fernández specified that “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered a very delicate conflict which has led us to a dramatic situation of great instability”.

He highlighted that “Argentina is convinced that a long-lasting solution for the Ukraine situation will only be reached peacefully and that’s why we once again call for peace and a de-escalation of the conflicts, for the parties involved to be able to find the conditions to negotiate once again”.

“We developing countries have to achieve a fuller and more virtuous insertion into value chains and receive a substantial volume of financing, both through cooperation and productive investment, to recover the margin for manoeuvre and be able to finance energy transition and move towards new ways of production which do not pose a growing danger to the environment”, the head of State concluded.

 

Bilateral meeting with Giorgia Meloni

After his speech to heads of state from different countries, President Alberto Fernández held a bilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the Europa Building in Brussels.

The Argentine head of state stressed the presence of Italian investment in such sectors as infrastructure and renewable energies. In 2022, exports to the European country amounted to US$1.06 billion and imports to US$1.67 billion. Italy is Argentina’s 15th foreign investor with over 250 Italian companies employing over 50,000 workers.

According to sources of the Argentine Presidency, the chief executive was accompanied by Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero.

 

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