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Unasur Leader Calls for 'Re-industrialization' in Latin America

Unasur Leader Calls for 'Re-industrialization' in Latin America

Posted by Juan Gavasa on October 27, 2014

Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), Ernesto Samper, says that Latin American nations need to prepare for "re-industrialization." 

In an interview with EFE published Sunday, Samper said "we have to prepare ourselves for an economic downturn," saying the demand for resources from China and Europe in oil and gas as well as the strength of the dollar will steadily slowdown.

The South America bloc leader also pointed the abundant strategic resources in the region such as petroleum, nickel, copper, and hydroelectric capacity as being able to offset the impact of shaky global economic conditions on the region. "Now, we have to add value to that," said the former Colombian President.

Samper's remarks come just ahead of a visit to Spain, Monday, where he will participate in a forum with Bilbao business representatives to discuss how "to strengthen the political dialogue between Latin America and Europe."

During the interview Samper commented on the current state of political dialogue between Latin America and Europe, saying "never has it been as empty in content." Samper lamented the absence of a "fluid relationship" between the regions, especially on issues "that interest Unasur" such as human rights, gender equality, drug trafficking and protection of the environment. 

This week, Venezuela said it would review its relationship with Spain after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called on Venezuela to release a former politician that has been charged with inciting violent protests earlier this year. Some 43 people were killed in the rioting, with billions of dollars in damages to buildings and infrastructure.

The Secretary General also spoke on his region's relationship with the United States, emphasizing that the North American country "should understand that Latin America is not one reality," and that it "must build a new relationship with the region based on this reality."

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