May 2021 ALABC E-Newsletter
Dear Members and Friends,
Welcome to our May 2021 Newsletter.
We are very pleased to announce that our Annual Report for 2021 is available to read and download. Please download the report here to read about ALABC's achievements and plans for the upcoming year.
Please see below an outline of the newsletter:
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have collaboration opportunities. I look forward to hearing from you.
Chief Executive Officer
Australia-Latin America Business Council
Read full newsletter here.
Read full report here.
There’s no doubt that sustainability is a topic of discussion in every wine-producing country and region around the world, but no country is doing more to push the conversation forward than Chile. Its Sustainability Code covers not just viticulture, but also practices in the winery and the way that wineries interact with their surrounding society.
This week on the “VinePair Podcast,” Adam Teeter and Zach Geballe are joined by Chilean winemakers Viviana Navarrete of VSPT Wine Group and Sofia Araya of Veramonte for a live podcast to wrap up VinePair’s Sustainability Week. They discuss why sustainability is so important to each of their winemaking ventures, how their definition of sustainability has expanded in recent years, and what they hope to achieve in the future.
Read full article here.
April 2021 ALABC E-Newsletter
Welcome to our April 2021 Newsletter.
Read full newsletter here.
Peruvians will be going to the polls to elect their next President on April 11. The latest polling reveals that there is no clear winner in the race among the candidates that represent myriad ideologies along the political spectrum. While left-leaning candidate Veronika Mendoza is running on a platform of tax hikes for the rich and increased government regulations, far-right conservative businessman Rafael Lopez Aliaga promises to aggressively attract foreign investments.
In the event that Peru’s electorate places Aliaga in power, he will have an uphill battle in convincing foreign multinationals to invest in -or trade with- this Andean nation. Three primary components of the investment climate in Peru comprise the primary obstacles to injecting foreign dollars into the local economy: endemic corruption, a deeply divided and skeptical electorate, and the government’s sub-par response to COVID-19.
Until 2007, Uruguay was strapped for energy resources that forced it to rely on importing energy from South American neighbours. That has changed. Today, 98 percent of the country’s power is delivered reliably and affordably from renewable sources. Compare that to the worldwide average that is typically reported in the low- to mid-20 percent range and you can see that this small country might just be on to something. Does little Uruguay have a blueprint for renewable energy that others could follow?
Located between Argentina and Brazil, its two larger neighbours and trading partners, Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America, with a population of about 3.45 million people, of whom roughly 1.8 million live in the metropolitan area of its capital, Montevideo. Since the signing of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, Uruguay has surprised its South American neighbours with its growing list of environmental successes, including conserving native forests, protecting biodiverse areas, and showing remarkable progress on a promise to be carbon neutral by 2030.
The Brazilian government has published the country's artificial intelligence (AI) strategy to guide actions around research, innovation and the development of related technologies to tackle the country's greatest challenges, as well as ethics.
The publication of the strategy follows a process of over a year since the launch of the consultation to gather input for the plan in late 2019, after a period of engagement with AI consulting firms and an international benchmarking process. According to the Brazilian government, the consultation lasted until March 2020 and more than 1,000 contributions were received.
Foreign investment in Cuba’s mining industry could be in line for further expansion following recent partnership deals.
The country has signed at least two partnership or joint venture (JV) agreements with overseas companies in the past six months, despite COVID-19 challenges.
While mining remains a state-controlled activity in Cuba, foreign companies have been active in the sector through JVs for decades.
Partnerships include the Moa mine (in picture), a 50:50 JV between Canada’s Sherritt International and Cuba’s state-run General Nickel Company, which produced 31,506t nickel and 3,370t cobalt last year.
SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile is fast-tracking an ambitious plan to roll out a 5G mobile technology network across most of the country within two years, a senior official told Reuters, but will assure strong oversight at a time of simmering global tensions over cybersecurity.
With the United States and China at odds over cybersecurity and data protection, Chile, which counts both countries as top trade partners, will keep doors open to any company that adheres to its strict rules, Telecommunications Undersecretary Pamela Gidi told Reuters.
"As long as (the regulations) are respected, we neither have nor are we going to influence the supply chain nor the nationality of the companies," she said.
Fifth-generation technology networks are expected to power everything from high-speed video transmissions to self-driving cars. The long battle over the safety of critical communications technology led Washington to blacklist dozens of Chinese firms, including telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co.
This year the countries of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) celebrate thirty years since its creation with the signing of the Treaty of Asuncion in 1991 by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The bloc is a historic achievement in the region and one of the major milestones in Latin American economic integration, which was intended to overcome the previous logic of rivalry between the countries and establish a dynamic of cooperation.
With a population of almost 300 million and an area of about 15 million square kilometres (50 % larger than the European continent and almost as large as Russia), MERCOSUR is known for its great natural resources and potential for food production. The bloc exports 63 % of the world’s soy and is the largest global exporter of beef, chicken, corn, coffee and iron, as well as the eighth largest global automobile producer. Based on its GDP, which in 2019 reached USD 4.467 trillion (measured by purchasing power parity), the bloc is the world’s fifth largest economy.
First, in 1991, we created a free-trade zone so that our goods and services could move without restrictions, as well as a common external tariff so that we could manage exchanges with the rest of the world. This allowed for great expansion in our mutual trade. We were also able to promote the exchange of added-value products among the four member countries, which allowed for the stimulation of non-traditional export activities which create high added-value jobs (in the biofuel, chemical and petrochemical, plastics, pharmaceutical product, steel and automotive sectors, among others). Therefore, whereas MERCOSUR is a traditional and well-known exporter of primary products, many of the products traded between members of the bloc are industrialized products, among which automobiles, for example, stand out (representing almost 50 % of the total products traded between Argentina and Brazil).
In 2004 we created the Structural Convergence Fund of MERCOSUR, through which more than USD 1billion has been allocated to non-refundable loans for infrastructure and productive development projects, among others, which has allowed us to enhance the competitiveness of our economies, especially in the less developed areas of the region.
Since its first years, MERCOSUR has negotiated and signed trade agreements with most of the countries in Latin America, which allowed for a free-trade zone that comprises most of the region. We have also negotiated trade agreements with the European Union, EFTA, Israel, Egypt, India and the countries in the south of Africa, among others. MERCOSUR is a platform created for our countries to be open to the rest of the world in order to boost foreign trade.
Although the explicit goals of MERCOSUR upon its foundation were of an economic and commercial nature, the bloc plays an important role in the consolidation of democracy and the avoidance of conflict. Peace is a necessary condition for development, and regional integration has historically been a key instrument for consolidating our region as an area of peace and cooperation, without armed conflicts.
Cooperation within MERCOSUR covers many areas: culture, education, science and technology, the development of a common citizenship, the coordination of social and economic policies, etc. There are several and varied areas of joint work within the bloc, and they change as necessary, as the international context and the context of our countries change. For instance, in public health coordination between our countries has always been important, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
Obviously, despite all the achievements in its three decades of history, there are still challenges ahead. Therefore, our strategic agenda makes us work to frame common and coordinated policies on productive development, increase our capacity to produce goods and services, create economies of scale and economies of specialization, as well as enter global value chains and attract global investment flows in a more intelligent manner.
In addition, MERCOSUR has a significant role to play in the international arena. Within the G20, the WTO, FAO and other international organizations, the unity of our countries helps us defend our positions on the global agenda. In an increasingly complex and fragmented global scenario, the coordination of positions enabled by MERCOSUR becomes increasingly important. Within multilateral organizations and in particular in the multilateral trade system, MERCOSUR and Australia share common interests and have a strong background of collaboration through the Cairns Group.
We believe that the purpose of integration is to reach agreements with due regard for the diversity of our countries, driven by the political will to achieve integration. MERCOSUR promotes supportive political, economic and social regionalism, because we know that facing difficulties together makes us stronger.
MERCOSUR is the most important foreign policy instrument of the last thirty years for our countries. It is ultimately a State policy which has remained constant in spite of changes of government. Throughout the last thirty years, we have achieved a great deal of common ground: a commitment to democracy as an essential condition for the lives of our peoples; respect for human rights as an essential and inalienable value for coexistence; the acknowledgement of our diversity; and the coordination of our economic growth policies in order to combine our productive structures.
The world is undergoing a reconfiguration of the global power structure, as well as a crisis of the international institutions that have governed us during the last seventy years. Given the challenges and uncertainties arising from this context, we are certain that the integration of our countries will continue to be the best way to boost our development, preserve our sovereignty, promote the well-being of our peoples and be integrated into the world.
Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs,
International Trade and Worship
Suite 14.02 Level 14,
14 Martin Place
Sydney, NSW 2000
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