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Wed, 23 Jan, 2013 12:02:37 AM
EU-CELAC summit in Santiago
FTimes Report



Helsinki, January 23 – Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen is expected to pursue an agreement for free trade between the European

Union members and counties in the Latin America and Caribbean as the biannual summit EU-CELAC begins Saturday in Santiago of Chile, officials said Tuesday.

The summit of the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States is aiming at fostering cooperation among the nations in the regional groupings.

The premier will leave Helsinki for Chile on Friday to attend the two-day EU-CELAC meet with a theme of Alliance for Sustainable

Development: Promoting Investments of Social and Environmental Quality.” Finland will promote Free Trade Arrangements between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean States and deepen EU-LAC dialogue as the EU is an important cooperation and trade partner to the Latin America and the Caribbean States, according to an official release.

EU is also the biggest development aid provider to the Latin American nations. The aim of the partnership between the two groupings is to strengthen good governance and democracy, enhance the protection and respect of human rights and promote sustainable development and social justice, said a statement issued by the Finnish authorities.

The European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean have been enjoying privileged relations since the first bi-regional Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1999, which established a strategic partnership. They are natural partners linked by strong historical, cultural and economic ties.

Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), launched in 2010, is a regional mechanism for political dialogue and cooperation encompassing for the first time all 33 LAC countries.

The last summit of the grouping was held in Madrid of Spain in May 2010. During his visit, Katainen will meet President of Chile Sebastiàn Piñera, government ministers and Chilean business leaders as business delegation of 23 Finnish companies will accompany the Prime Minister to Chile.

The delegation represents the Finnish mining, energy, wellbeing, telecommunications and forest sectors.

Beside the official discussions with Piñera, the Finnish Prime Minister will also meet a number of Chilean ministers in charges ofeconomy, energy, transport and telecommunications and defence.

There will also be a number of seminars focusing on ways to develop wide-ranging cooperation between Finland and Chile in areas of mining, energy and telecommunications. Prime Minister Katainen will also give a speech on the economic situation in Europe at the Catholic University of Chile.

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