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IDB’s President Moreno says greater integration with Asia is helping Latin American growth

Rising trade and investment with Asia has helped increase exports from Latin America and the Caribbean and the region’s contribution to the growth of the world economy, said Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), during his visit to India this week.

Higher incomes in Asia, particularly India and China, are opening opportunities for the region’s goods and services, especially high-quality ones: from natural and unique grass fed beef, renowned wines, and specialized coffees to the high-quality services of architects and engineers, Moreno said.

Moreno also noted that emerging market nations are increasingly turning to the development experiences of other emerging countries for knowledge and learning in recent years given that many face similar economic and social challenges. 

“The South-South economic relationship will continue to strengthen because they are countries with similar demands and development level,’’ said Moreno. “These two regions have room to increase trade and investment and, above all, must create new opportunities for cooperation in many different areas to tackle common development needs. This will make this emerging South-South partnership even stronger.”

During this visit, Moreno called on both India and Latin America and the Caribbean to deepen their ties by lowering trade barriers and transport costs and investing on greater cooperation. Currently, India represents just 1 percent of this region’s overall trade, compared with China’s 10 percent share.

“India can provide many valuable lessons coming from successes in higher education, aerospace and microfinance, for example, while Latin America and the Caribbean can provide success stories in mining, agriculture, biofuels and poverty alleviation programs,’’ Moreno said. “The IDB is focused on building capabilities for this relationship to flourish. In the decade ahead, the deepening of this partnership will provide a vital contribution to the world economy.”

Moreno was in India from November 13th to November 18th to participate in a series of events and meetings to promote greater trade and integration between India and Latin America and the Caribbean.  He participated in the World Economic Forum in New Delhi, where he not only talked about the importance of South-South trade but met leading Indian social entrepreneurs to exchange views on how social business models can be replicated and enriched if applied in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Moreno met with leading Indian business executives and senior government officials during his trip, including Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Foreign Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Maharani Preneet Kaur, Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalla. 

Moreno also participated in events to present the IDB book “India: Latin America’s Next Big Thing?” in both Delhi and Mumbai.  The report looks into recent development and economic trends in India and their possible impact for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Before travelling to India, Moreno was in Japan where he attended the CEO Forum of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. He talked about emerging trade and investment opportunities for the Asia Pacific region in Latin America and the Caribbean.