The governments of Peru, the United States and those of ten other countries of the American continent opted this Friday for a new focus on economic growth that places more emphasis on development, at the launch of the Association of the Americas for Economic Prosperity.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai sponsored a virtual meeting with ministers from Barbados, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay , although they did not rule out that more nations join in the future.
During his speech, Tai indicated that US President Joe Biden summarized the objective of this plan at the last Summit of the Americas: “Respond to basic human desires” such as dignity, safety and security, he said.
“The traditional way of doing business gave us cheap goods and more production, while contributing to growing inequality, expanding and vulnerable supply chains, and workers and communities being displaced and left behind,” said the United States Trade Representative. .
Now, the priorities are empowering workers and eradicating forced labor, strengthening supply chains, promoting innovation in the public and private sectors, and tackling the climate crisis, among others, Tai listed.
Blinken explained, for his part, that this initiative is intended to deepen cooperation to face the challenges that have arisen or are exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic.
According to the English translation of her words, the Chilean Foreign Minister, Antonia Urrejola, highlighted in her speech that this proposal emphasizes the importance of linking growth with human development, especially that of underserved communities and vulnerable groups, such as women.
Urrejola stressed the importance of cooperation on the continent to “improve the quality of life and economic prosperity” for all and stressed that this initiative can lead to specific actions in areas such as the digital economy.
For her part, the Minister of Housing of Colombia, Catalina Velasco, called attention to the need to protect natural resources such as those of the Amazon, mountains, water sources and biodiversity, through public and private investments.
“We must provide value to vulnerable communities that have historically been affected by violence, geographic isolation, and statelessness.”, reflected Velasco, whose words were also translated into English.
Peru’s Foreign Minister, Ana Cecilia Gervasi, alluded to the political situation in her country and stated that her government is aware of the problems of some historically vulnerable and marginalized communities that have supported former President Pedro Castillo.
In this sense, he stressed that his Executive wants to hold elections within the constitutional framework and the rule of law, since a solid democracy will help them assume their responsibilities, face challenges and fully participate in this initiative.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Juan Carlos Holguín, for his part, focused on the importance of working together to fight against the scourge of criminal activities in the region, which “make it difficult to achieve development and have an impact on security and prosperity”, according to the English translation of his words.
During her speech, the Mexican Secretary of Economy, Raquel Buenrostro, warned that regional development cannot be achieved when some members of society do not benefit from economic cooperation.
He assured that to promote inclusion, discrimination must be eliminated, and pointed out that another important issue for the region is the strengthening of supply chains in strategic industries.
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