Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos told a group of 200 business investors at a Pacific Alliance press conference in New York that he felt a little “sad” following Obama’s United Nations General Assembly speech due to the U.S. president’s failure to mention Latin America.
While President Santos remembered Obama mentioning China, the Pacific, and the Middle East, he lamented “[U.S] President Obama did not mention Latin America – not even once,” said Santos, later arguing that because of the economic possibilities present in the region, “the true strategic interest of the United States resides south of the Rio Grande.”
At the press conference, President Santos argued that the recently formed Pacific Alliance, comprised primary by Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Chile, offers an excellent opportunity for United States investors.
“[The Pacific Alliance] is a very important market because we number more than 200 million relatively young consumers,” said Santos, who assured investors actions are being taken within the Pacific Alliance to expand the middle class, and increase the number of consumers and furthermore demand for global products within the participating nations.
Santos is one of the United States’ strongest allies in South America, as Colombia and the United States cooperate heavily both militarily and economically, due to joint security and “anti-terrorism” operations within Colombia and a bilateral free trade agreement.