Experts and diplomats stressed today the importance of Latin America claiming its place in a moment of “redefinition” of the world order and take advantage of the “opportunity” to boost productivity, at the start of the Annual Conference of the CAF-Latin American Development Bank .
“It is a great opportunity for Latin America,” said Susana Malcorra, former Foreign Minister of Argentina in her speech at one of the panels of the meeting, to raise the profile and bet on the “regional unit”.
Malcorra commented on the change in the global order, a process already under way and contributed by the international withdrawal of Washington under the government of US President Donald Trump.
Juan Gabriel Valdés, Chile’s ambassador to Washington and also former Minister of Foreign Affairs, stressed that the relationship with Washington will remain “key” and goes “beyond” the governments of the moment.
Valdés acknowledged, however, that there is “a setback in the credibility” of the United States. in Latin America, something that “is not good” for either side.
Representing Washington, the head of the State Department for Latin America, Francisco Palmieri, nevertheless emphasized Washington’s commitment to the countries of the region and cited Vice President Mike Pence’s recent “very successful” trip in August. Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Panama.
“We have strong allies in the region, and we will continue to defend democratic values,” Palmieri said.
The official defended Washington’s close ties with Latin America, and recalled that there is “more trade with this region than with Asia.”
For his part, Luis Carranza, the host of the event and president of the CAF-Latin American Development Bank, emphasized the achievements made since the beginning of the 21st century.
“The social transformations of Latin America have been profound,” he said, pointing to the significant increase in the middle classes in Latin American countries.
But Carranza avoided complacency, and warned against the risks of “losing macroeconomic stability gained.”
“We have to be fiscally responsible … And to consolidate the objectives we need the productivity pact,” added Carranza, who was former Minister of Economy of Peru.
The annual meeting of the CAF in the US capital concludes tomorrow with various round tables and conferences including the participation of General Rick Waddell, director of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the White House National Security Council.
Likewise, the heads of Latin America of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Alejandro Werner; and the World Bank, Jorge Familiar, will analyze the economic outlook for the region, which has returned to positive growth this year after two consecutive years of contraction.
The CAF is a multilateral development bank created in 1970 and currently comprises 19 countries -17 in Latin America and the Caribbean, along with Spain and Portugal- and 13 private banks.
The Caracas-based institution is one of the main sources of multilateral funding in Latin America, with annual approvals exceeding $ 13 billion for development and regional integration.