SELA and ACS agree to promote regional cooperation and integration

01 al 31 de diciembre de 2011

Caracas, 1 December 2011– The Permanent Secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System (SELA), Ambassador José Rivera Banuet, and the Secretary-General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), Ambassador Luis Fernando Andrade Falla, agreed to join efforts in the area of cooperation and integration in the region.


The high-level officials of both organizations met at the headquarters of SELA in Caracas to analyze in detail the work programmes of their institutions and the possibilities for further cooperation in the development of activities to be performed. To that end, they decided to conduct regular meetings among officials of both institutions.


Emphasis was made on the active participation of SELA in the work of the ACS, holding the Founding Observer status, and on its presence in the various institutional schemes established in the context of the Caribbean organization.


Among other aspects, focus was given to the issue of the international economic crisis, which broke out in the U.S. and now heavily affects European countries, and to the possible effects on Latin American and Caribbean countries, considering the growth scenarios in the region for years to come.


The Permanent Secretary of SELA said the organization has developed a programme to identify opportunities for increased trade among the various subregions, as well as barriers to trade, remembering that intra-regional trade is close to 19%, while domestic trade of countries in other regions, such as the European Union, is around 70%. Therefore, mechanisms should be promoted between SELA and the ACS to improve trade relations and integration in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Both officials will participate in the First Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, to be held in Caracas on 2 and 3 December and attended by Heads of State and Government of the 33 countries of the region.


The Association of Caribbean States, based in Trinidad and Tobago, is a regional organization created on 24 July 1994 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Its main objective is to strengthen regional cooperation and integration of Caribbean countries, with a view to creating an enhanced economic space in the region; preserving the environmental integrity of the Caribbean Sea; and promoting the sustainable development of the Greater Caribbean.


Ambassador Luis Fernando Andrade Falla, who is an economist and diplomat, took up the position of Secretary-General of the ACS in March 2008 following his election by the Ministerial Council. Before accepting the position of ACS Secretary-General, he was Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs in Guatemala and Pro-Tempore Representative of the Security Commission of the Central American Integration System (SICA), among other responsibilities.