The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Spain, José Manuel Albares (d), and the King of Spain, Felipe VI (c), attend a business forum within the framework of the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit, in Santo Domingo, on March 24 of 2023 Mauricio Duenas Castaneda (EFE)
At its summit with CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), scheduled for July 17 and 18 in Brussels (Belgium), the European Union will present "a portfolio of strategic investment projects for the region that will be supported by of the EU and its Member States, as well as international financial institutions such as the EBRD [European Bank for Reconstruction and Development], the IDB [Inter-American Development Bank], the CAF [Andean Development Corporation] or CABEI [ Central American Bank for Economic Integration]”.
This was confirmed by the King at the XIV Ibero-American Business Meeting, which closed this Friday in Santo Domingo hours before the inauguration of the summit of heads of state and government.
"This is something that the Spanish government is actively working on together with its community partners and with said financial institutions," added Felipe VI, who has not quantified the total amount of the investments.
The Ibero-American countries are expecting the Spanish presidency of the EU, in the second half of this year, which will serve as the framework for the first summit between Europe and Latin America since 2015. The objective, according to diplomatic sources, is to recover the ground lost in in recent years, which China has taken advantage of to become the leading trading partner of the countries of the region (except Mexico) and one of the largest foreign investors.
For this, the sources consulted underline, the July summit needs to have tangible results and not be left alone in rhetorical statements.
For this reason, in addition to presenting a package of projects with financial backing, they want to promote the signing of the EU free trade agreements with Mexico, Chile, Central America and Mercosur, which have been blocked for years and, in the words of Felipe VI, "are a key instrument for maintaining mutually beneficial economic and commercial relations”.
In his speech before some 1,500 businessmen, the King praised public-private collaboration and set the Dominican Republic as an example of "the relevance of having a strong private sector committed to the challenges of the country to achieve lasting growth and stable".
He has also warned that, in order to attract new investment, it is essential to have "stable, predictable and competitive environments", alluding to the chronic instability of many Latin American countries.
Six heads of state attended the business summit: King Felipe VI, and the presidents of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle;
Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader;
Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso;
Paraguay, Mario Abdo;
and Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
The last four have participated in a "discussion" on the economic situation in Latin America in which the Portuguese president has described the Santo Domingo summit as "historic", which he has referred to as the "post-pandemic summit".
The next one, that of 2024 in Ecuador, should be the “post-war summit”, he added.
In an informal meeting with Spanish journalists, Rebelo de Sousa had words of admiration and affection for the King, whom he said "is the exception to my republican principles."
The XIV Business Meeting has been held as an event prior to the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit.
For two days, businessmen have debated in Santo Domingo about the future of companies in the 22 member countries of the organization.
The talks have revolved around the role that both States and companies must take in the face of an economic outlook of high inflation and rising rates, and also in the face of the commercial difficulties that have arisen due to the covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion in Ukraine.
Entrepreneurs have warned that in the coming years they will have to consider the technological revolution and sustainable growth for their business ventures.