Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Equitable relations between EU and Caribbean possible

A more balanced and equitable relationship. This is what Executive Secretary of ECLAC Alicia Bárcena wants to see happen between the European Union and the Caribbean.

According to her, an opportunity for the two to find more complementarities to overcome old historic, social and trade-related asymmetries would be provided through the renewal of bonds.

She was one of the main speakers at the meeting “New EU development co-operation strategies in Latin America and the Caribbean,” organised by the EU-LAC Foundation and the Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, with the support of the European Union programme EUROsociAL.

Since the economic crisis that began in 2008, the problems that the Euro zone has had to face have led to stagnation in the relationship between the two regions, according to Bárcena. Nevertheless, the European Union continues to be the main collaborator, the main direct investor and the second-biggest trade partner of Latin America and the Caribbean, she indicated.

“For that reason, it is necessary to foster renewed ties between the governments, companies and social actors of both regions,” ECLAC’s Executive Secretary insisted.

According to Bárcena, a deeper partnership between Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union would allow for accelerated economic growth in the region, progress on the structural change towards more knowledge-intensive sectors, poverty reduction, and greater social inclusion and environmental protection.

In her presentation, Bárcena emphasised that despite recent progress, Latin America and the Caribbean continues to be the region with the worst income distribution in the world, which is compounded by multiple gaps that reinforce each other, including gaps in human resource development, in insertion in the world of work and in access to social protection systems, as well as gaps related to territory, gender, ethnic group and generations, and in access to power.

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