The German government today applauded the harmony and closeness of political and commercial relations between the European Union (EU) and Latin America, especially in the face of the current boom in protectionism.
This was expressed by the Secretary of State in the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Niels Annen, when opening in Hamburg (northern Germany) the Latin American Congress that is held annually in that city and that in this edition has as special guest the Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera.
The current world, Annen argued, is "more complex" and faces "enormous challenges and changes," especially in the commercial sphere, "where it seems increasingly distant a lasting security of the framework conditions."
At present, he continued, basic questions for the long-term planning of companies "can change quickly and in a profound way": "politics and industry are under strong pressure in the face of these insecurities".
"Precisely in this context it is comforting to see that the relationship between our two regions is stable and opens even new common commercial possibilities," said the German secretary of state.
It is "important" that the EU and Latin America continue to cooperate in sustaining and improving the global trading system, which is currently "endangered" by the rise of protectionism, which generates "enormous damage to the economy."
"We are partners convinced of the values of multilateralism, and that makes us strong," said Annen, who advocated intensifying international cooperation.
The international order is favorable to German "interests", to Europeans and "also to Latin Americans," he said.
He highlighted in this regard the consensus reached between the EU and Mexico to renew its trade agreement and the ongoing negotiations for the European bloc to update its agreements in this area with Mercosur and with Chile.
In his opinion, "free trade agreements are important instruments to improve economic cooperation because it allows actively manage globalization."
However, he stressed, the economic advances must "go hand in hand" with the social and the objective of intensifying trade cooperation is to improve the welfare of our societies on both sides of the Atlantic, "he added.
"I am convinced that, through close cooperation and based on our shared values, we can mutually benefit and achieve sustainable growth," he said.
In more general terms, Annen recalled that for Germany it is "a priority" to maintain a "close dialogue" with Latin America and noted that Piñera's visit is "a sign of the bond that unites us".
The Chilean president is expected to offer a speech tonight at the gala dinner of the Latin American Congress, which is expected to address different forms of bilateral cooperation.
The economy also focused much of the meeting held yesterday in Berlin Piñera and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, held within the framework of the European tour of the Chilean leader, who in a week will visit France, Spain, Germany, Belgium and The Vatican.