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The first summit between the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union (EU) opened Saturday in Santiago, capital of Chile, with a speech by Chile’s president Sebastian Pinera, host of the event, calling for more and better investment.“We are seeking a new development based on quality investment,” said Pinera, according to Xinhua. “Although the European Union arrives here amid an economic crisis, it remains the world’s largest economy.”Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez created the organization CELAC in a meeting held in Mexico in December 2010 and hosted its first summit in 2011, striving to unite the region’s nations in finding their own direction without U.S. and Canadian influence. Sebastian Pinera now serves as president of CELAC.Under Pinera’s stewardship, CELAC has shifted away from Chavez’ s social agenda to focus much more on business and economic affairs. Pinera emphasized CELAC’s economic stability in his opening statement, adding, “although CELAC has far too much poverty and inequality, it has learned from the past and taken the path to development, both economically and democratically.”From the 1980s until the early years of the 2000s, Latin America suffered a series of economic crisis, with some of its biggest economic actors being hit twice, including Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. Since Argentina’s 2001 crisis, however, the region as a whole has been on a path of growth.“CELAC has everything it needs to defeat poverty,” Pinera said. “It has an abundance of natural resources and hardworking people that deserve a better future.”The summit expressed on Sunday its rejection of the over 50-year long economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States against Cuba, Prensa Latina informs. “We strongly reject all coercive measures of unilateral character and extraterritorial effect that are contrary to international law and commonly accepted standards of free trade”, stated in one of its parts the Santiago Declaration.More than 40 heads of state and representatives of 60 countries from both regions attended the two-day CELAC-EU Summit. Croatia, which will become a full member of the European Union in July, was invited to this conference ahead of being fully qualified.After years of buying up Latin and south American assets Europeans are now hoping money will start to flow in the opposite direction as the region has resisted the economic crisis and is posting healthy growth rates, unlike Europe, Euronews reports. CELAC was set up in December 2011.
President Basescu meets Serbian president, French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault
Romanian President Traian Basescu is also present to the summit. He was due to have a bilateral meeting on Sunday with his Serb counterpart Tomislav Nikolic, according to Taniug press agency.Romania is looking with interest to the South-American economic potential, the latest years a re-launching of the commercial relations with the countries in the regions taking place. The ’90 recorded a significant fall, but in the first ten months of 2012 Romanian export to Latin America increased by no less than 45 per cent. The level of Romania’s trade with the countries in the regions peaked to USD 1.3 bn during the same period of time.President Basescu met French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault in a private dialogue, according to presidential adviser Cristian Diaconescu. France will support the maximization of budgetary funds for Romania during the 2014-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the French Premier has said. The meeting took place at the French side’s request. The bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the CAP field was noted by the two sides. The talks included the Mali evolutions, according to Diaconescu.