Bárcena rejects at the EU-Celac Summit that Latin America is a 'resource pool'

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Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena, today rejected the extractivist vision that other regions see Latin America only as “a quarry of natural resources” during his participation in the Summit of the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac).

“For our region, it is not viable or acceptable that we are only a quarry of natural resources, condemned to extractivism and the provision of cheap food and low-skilled labor”, he expressed at the closing session of the “EU-LAC Business Round Table”.

The statements by the head of Mexican diplomacy occur in the midst of the modernization and renegotiation of trade agreements of the region with the European Union, and the impulse to face the climate crisis.

Bárcena pointed out that it is required a new pact to change the model of development and wealth, since "the current paradigm is not sustainable and, therefore, new paths must be sought".

"It is not possible that we these inequality gaps in our region and that only a few can have access to social rights (...) Privileges that deny rights. That can't be,” she added.

Photo: Fourth Dark Archive

The chancellor said that there is an opportunity to bring Europe closer to Latin Americaafter eight years of distancing, with a clear reduction in European investment in the region.

In this sense, explained that the trade flow between the two regions increased by 65% ​​since 2001going from 176 million euros to 291 billion euros in 2022.

However, it abounded that the commercial relationship doubled between 2001 and 2020, but the commercial relationship with China and Latin America multiplied by 20 times in the same period.

“We should and need, precisely, complement us much more in this world so difficult and so changing”, he considered.

Bárcena, who was the executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal) from 2008 to 2022, said that Latin America also requires green financing to promote sustainable development in the region with green bonds, guarantees, insurance, and other resources.

He also found it necessary address social movements driven by a "disenchanted citizenry" because the “democracies have not been able to bear the fruits that are required”, as well as to strengthen the productive chains.

We want to overcome inequality, we want to do it with sustainability and, furthermore, there is a very vibrant private sector in both regions,” he said.

On the other hand, he stressed that Mexico is in a historic opportunity for private investment due to the phenomenon of the relocation of productive chains or "nearshoring" and the commercial break between the United States and China.

“We are very committed to achieving this relationship between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean, and in a rapidly evolving geopolitical scenario, of complex strategic alignments, where tWe have to combine cooperation with financingwith much more open actors”, he concluded.

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