Tuesday

27th Jun 2017

Trade and 'better relations' close EU-Latin America summit

  • The EU wants to increase trade with Latin American and Caribbean countries (Photo: dietadeporte)

EU leaders at a 60-nation trade summit in Chile over the weekend said European businesses are sometimes subject to legal uncertainties in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

“We're seeing an increase in Latin American investment in Europe, where they are most welcome. Both sides need to provide legal certainty to companies investing in our economies,” said European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso on Sunday (27 January), reports the AP.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

With some €385 billion invested in 2010, the EU remains the continent’s largest leading foreign investor – higher than EU foreign direct investment in Russia, China and India combined, says the commission.

Among the EU delegation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the steady growth projections in Latin America would benefit the EU’s debt-ridden member states.

“The most important thing for countries here is that they have the impression that we in the eurozone are overcoming the crisis together, and not leaving some countries hanging,” said Merkel.

The EU concerns stem in part from the Argentinian state take-over last April of oil firm YPF from its parent, Spanish-owned Respol.

EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht at the time instructed the EU delegation in Geneva to file a legal complaint at the World Trade Organisation on alleged Argentine protectionism.

Aside from creating a sound business legal framework at the two-day summit, the EU delegation also pushed to lower trade barriers and set-up a free-trade pact.

The EU managed to signed off a series of trade agreements with Peru and Colombia as well as an association agreement with Central America. The signed agreements will come into force shortly, said Barroso.

But reactions to a number of the EU’s requests were mixed.

The Latin bloc said the EU’s highly subsidised agricultural sector is forcing out international competition.

Bolivian President Evo Morales also rejected the EU demand for profit guarantees in a country that is now a major recipient of EU development funding.

The Bolivian leader said access to basic services like water and electricity belongs to the mostly rural indigenous poor and not large-foreign owned corporations.

Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez said she couldn’t agree to deals that would create unfair competition for home-based businesses for the sake of EU interests.

"We have to prevent and consider these asymmetries, to avoid hurting our industries and, above all, our people," she tweeted.

Spanish oil company sues Argentina

The Spanish oil and gas giant Repsol-YPF filed a lawsuit against Argentina at a US district court in Manhattan on Tuesday for nationalising its majority-owned stake in the energy company YPF.

EU edges toward Canada free trade deal

EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht will meet Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as the EU executive steps up its bid to secure the latest in a series of lucrative free trade agreements.

EU approves rescue of Italian banks

The European Commission gave the green light to a €17-billion plan by the Italian government to save Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca.

Row between EU ministers halts e-book tax rate

A bill to reduce VAT rates on e-books and e-publications has become the latest victim of a row between the Czech Republic and its partners over its own plan to collect VAT.

Focus

EU and China move to fill US void

At a summit in Brussels, EU and Chinese leaders will attempt to deepen ties on trade and climate as US president Trump plans to pull out of the Paris climate deal.

Italy reaches EU deal on failing bank

After months of negotiations, the European Commission and Italy agreed on the terms of rescue for Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank, including job cuts, salary caps and private sector involvement in the bailout.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017Conservation of Atlantic Tunas: International Measures Become EU Law
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan Statin Therapy Interfere With a Physically Active Lifestyle?
  3. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  4. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  5. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  6. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  7. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  8. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  9. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  10. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  11. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  12. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?