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Latin America and Argentina can contribute more, says Borrell

Latin America and Argentina can contribute more, says Borrell

The head of European Union diplomacy Josep Borrell said on Tuesday that Latin America in general, and Argentina in particular, could “do more” to provide the world with food and energy. This in a tense food and energy context.

With the war in Ukraine having sent ‘shockwaves’ through food and energy prices, Latin America can feed more people, can continue to produce more food and also supply energy, and we (Europeans, editor’s note) can provide them with technology and capital,’ Borrell told reporters in Buenos Aires.

Argentina, in particular, provides a number of ‘very important goods to Europe and the world, and can do even more’, in particular in terms of ‘agro-food goods, with its area and its enormous production capacity’, a- he added. ‘And the energy could follow’.

Mr Borrell, who was speaking after a meeting with the head of Argentine diplomacy Santiago Cafiero, is in Buenos Aires to chair a ministerial meeting between the EU and the Community of Latin American States and Caribbean (CELAC), Thursday in Buenos Aires. There had not been such a meeting since 2018, he recalled.

Free trade Agreement

Having passed through Uruguay before Argentina, the head of European diplomacy there underlined on Monday the importance of reaching a free trade agreement between the EU and the economic bloc of Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay ), ‘before other economic players’ take their place.

‘In politics as in economics, the gaps are filling up. The role that Europe does not play, others will play. China is obviously one of them, and is already the main trading partner of all Latin American countries,” he explained. ‘But if China buys, we Europeans invest in Latin America, a lot. More than in China, Russia, Japan and India combined’.

So the EU and Mercosur should work together ‘by the end of the year’ to push forward a free trade agreement of ‘strategic importance’, and the upcoming Spanish Presidency of the European Union, in the second half of 2023, could “open a window of opportunity” to finalize it, said Mr. Borrell.

/ATS

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