The EU commits 45,000 million to Latin America and the Caribbean and aspires to be its "preferred partner"

BRUSSELS, July 17.

The EU commits 45,000 million to Latin America and the Caribbean and aspires to be its "preferred partner"


The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has committed this Monday an investment of 45,000 million euros until 2027 to launch projects related to new technologies and 'clean' industries in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and convert thus making the European Union a "preferred partner" for these regions.

"There are already more than 135 projects in the pipeline, from clean hydrogen to critical raw materials, from the expansion of the high-throughput data network to the production of the most advanced mRNA vaccines," Von der Leyen listed in his keynote speech. in the economic forum with which the EU-CELAC summit which is being held this Monday and Tuesday in Brussels has started.

Along with her, the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the presidents of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Development Bank of Latin America, Ilan Goldfajn and Sergio Díaz-Granados, respectively.

The list of projects that seeks to make the just ecological and digital transition a reality on both sides of the Atlantic has been drawn up in close collaboration with the Spanish presidency and constitutes the basis for future dialogues with Latin American and Caribbean partners.

Among the most notable initiatives are the agreement for critical raw materials --such as lithium and others-- with Argentina and Chile), the telecommunications agreement with Brazil or the energy agreement with Paraguay.

This is the first time in eight years that international partners meet, a meeting promoted by the Spanish presidency of the Council and which Von der Leyen has taken advantage of to announce this increase in investment in the regions on the other side of the Atlantic within the framework of the 'Global Gateway', the EU investment program abroad.

In this sense, he has advocated taking advantage of the summit to "shape the investment agenda for the benefit of both continents" through a "new approach" for large infrastructure projects that is intended to reinforce the creation of supply chains local value.

The president of the Community Executive has highlighted that Latin America and the Caribbean have the "potential" to become a world power in renewable energy, in addition to pointing out that the next "natural step" is to convert that energy into clean hydrogen, which has the advantage of being able to "easily" export to other continents while being able to promote new industries on the continent itself.

On the other hand, it has underlined the European need to access critical raw materials from other suppliers to reduce its dependence on third parties such as China and, to reinforce this idea of ​​'quid pro quo' between both partners, the German company has highlighted that, "in unlike other foreign investors", the EU is not only interested in investing in the pure extraction of raw materials, but seeks to partner with Latin America and the Caribbean to develop local production capacity, to which the EU will contribute technology and workers with "high quality" training.

"We need them to tell us which sectors they want to focus on and which bottlenecks we need to tackle together so that Europe can invest right where they need it most. It's a new start for old friends for which we need to join forces," he concluded.