Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos invited countries of the region to unite in the face of market failings in a speech at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), financial publication Portafolio reported Wednesday
At the conference, Latin American financial ministers discussed channeling additional funds to counteract the negative effects the global economic crisis will bring to the region.
In relation to strong growth seen by many Latin American currencies, President Santos said that he is not in favor of taking a passive approach to the appreciation of currencies, which has decreased the zone’s competitiveness in terms of exports. He called on the ECLAC to help coordinate regional policies of capital and currency flows.
Santos said the Colombian peso has appreciated greatly in comparison with other currencies in the region and that the relative stability of Latin America offers the opportunity to leave behind its economically turbulent past.
On the second day of his official visit to Chile Santos is scheduled to go to the Chilean Congress and the Supreme Court of Justice. He is due to fly to Argentina tonight, and will meet with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez and various business people Thursday.
In regard to the ongoing conflict in Colombia, Santos said “we have to stay on top until we have complete peace.” He went to say that the improved security conditions in Colombia led to the recovery of the economy and attracted foreign investment. “The international perception of the country has changed,” he said, according to newspaper El Tiempo.