In the past, I have talked about how Latin America is fast becoming a very attractive region for foreign investment. The world recognizes the stability that our region has shown throughout the recent economic shocks in the world, as well as the great potential we have in areas such as commodities.
The Arab region is no exception. Over the last few years, commercial relations between the two regions have grown and there is still a lot of potential waiting to be exploited. Therefore, with the aim of developing a strategic vision regarding areas of mutual concern between Latin America and the Arab world, in recent days took place, in Abu Dhabi, the IV Arab-Latin American Forum, lead by Leonel Fernandez, President of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (FUNGLODE), and the honorable Jeque Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research.
I was honored to participate as moderator in the panel “Assessing the business climate in both regions and existing and potential channels for interregional trade relationship”, where Mohammad Halaika, Former Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs in Jordan, and Osvaldo Rosales, Director of the International Trade and Integration Division at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean participated as speakers.
On this occasion, topics such as growth tendencies, legal frameworks and the conditions required to enhance commercial relations between our regions were analyzed and evaluated.
The Arab World certainly offers great advantages in foreign trade as competitive tariff quotas, excellent port infrastructure and customs procedures, as well as a solid banking industry, which we should capitalize.
Arab countries currently import around 92% of food consumed, allocating $45 billion dollars for this purpose each year. This is definitely a great area of opportunity for Latin America. We need to work for capital flows between the Middle East and our region continue to increase, as well as fully capitalize on current trade agreements.
This Forum was definitely an excellent space to strengthen ties between both regions and understand which tasks are pending as well as areas on which our governments and entrepreneurs can contribute to maximize our commercial relations.
I offer my congratulations to Dr. Leonel Fernandez for this initiative.
I would like to share this link, where you can view other participant’s impressions of the Forum: http://vimeo.com/arablatinforum/videos