Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos insisted Thursday that the political “coordination” of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) will save the region from the global economic crisis “hurricane.”
President Santos made the statement after a meeting with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Buenos Aires. Santos explained that “this hurricane” has been released by the economic downturn in the United States and Europe.
He also said now is the time for South American nations to coordinate their policies so that they are “able to defend themselves better” as well as promote the overall development and growth of the region. “If we coordinate our policies, we can come out more liberated” from the crisis, reiterated the Colombian head of state.
Fernandez de Kirchner said South America “should look at the European Union to see where they went wrong and learn from this experience” to strengthen their “regional markets.” “This crisis can be a magnificent opportunity for the region to develop and grow,” she commented.
Kirchner emphasized that at the July UNASUR summit in Lima, Santos had imposed “very clear” iniciatives for the South American front to put into place so that they could begin to confront the global crisis. On August 12, economic ministers and central bank officials of the 12 UNASUR countries met in Buenos Aires to create three work groups to put the “plan into action.”
Santos and Fernandez de Kirchner signed eight agreements Thursday in their official meeting in Buenos Aires in hopes of strengthening bilateral relations and economic collaboration between their countries.