SANTIAGO, Chile– Starting on Monday Brussels is hosting a new meeting between leaders from Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean, a positive sign of the shared will to bolster bridges and consolidate ties that have profound roots in our past and significant possibilities for the future.
Currently, the European Union has trade agreements with 26 Latin American and Caribbean countries, which makes it the partner with the biggest set of trade agreements in the region, followed by the United States, which has free-trade agreements with 11 countries.
Although the European Union continues to be the second destination market (after the United States) for regional exports, since 2010 it has been displaced by China as the second source of its imports.
In parallel, Latin American and Caribbean participation in the bloc’s foreign trade is still very modest, both in goods and services: in 2013 the region was the destination for 6.6 per cent of goods exports from the European Union to the rest of the world and the origin of just 5.7 per cent of its imports. What’s more, the region’s exports to the bloc continue to be concentrated in commodities and derivatives that have low technological content.
The dialogue of policies between the most representative institutions from Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean will address a rich agenda of bi-regional and global matters. This will be an opportunity to underline the importance of cooperation between the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), marked by the complexity and speed of ongoing technological, economic, social, environmental and cultural changes.
We are confident that this dialogue will spur initiatives oriented towards citizens, designed to foster innovation for sustainable growth, ensure a quality education for all, guarantee safety and combat climate change.
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