Mercosur Wants to Expand Cooperation With Eurasian Economic Union

Argentine Ambassador to Russia Pablo Anselmo Tettamanti says the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is an important partner for Argentina, and Mercosur wants to continue developing cooperation with their Eurasian partners. He also added that Russia is discussing new investment opportunities with Argentina.

According to the ambassador, Argentina facilitated significant progress in reaching an agreement between Mercosur and the Eurasian Economic Union in the last six months of 2014. A number of meetings held in Moscow and Buenos Aires have led to the creation of a draft cooperation agreement in the economic and trade spheres between the two regional trading blocs. Continue reading

Conflict over Natural Resources

BERLIN/LIMA (Own report) – The Catholic relief organization Misereor is sharply criticizing the new “Raw Materials Partnership” accord, concluded between the Federal Republic of Germany and Peru. Misereor writes that it fears “an aggravation” of the already growing “social conflicts developing around mining projects” in this South American country. This recently signed raw materials treaty grants German companies privileged access to Peru’s resources. The German government has now “signaled the Peruvian government” that “the expansion of the raw materials sector takes priority” over social and ecological regulations affecting that sector. The “raw materials partnership” is one of the measures Berlin is implementing within the framework of its “raw materials strategy” adopted in 2010, to be able to stand its ground in the global competition for access to the most important natural resources – particularly in relationship to China. Peru is an important source of metallic raw materials for Germany. The guarantee of raw materials is more important to Berlin than Misereor’s misgivings. Continue reading

Second-Class Stakeholders

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) – At its summit, starting today, the EU is pushing ahead to integrate non-member countries into its global foreign and military policies. With the Association Agreements due to be signed at the summit, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine will have to gradually adapt themselves to the EU’s foreign and military policy. The association aims at enhancing the three countries’ participation “in EU-led civilian and military crisis management operations as well as relevant exercises and training activities.” Ukraine is already contributing soldiers to EU battle groups, while Georgia has contributed 140 soldiers to the EU’s Central African Republic intervention force. With its “Framework Participation Agreements” (FPA), the EU, for years, has been engaging numerous non-member countries – including Canada, Chile and South Korea – in its global policy operations. Resembling NATO’s “Partnership for Peace,” the FPA has not only the objective of attracting additional troops, but also of enhancing global acceptance of EU’s operations. However, as an EU think tank openly admits, Brussels requires a certain “degree of subordination,” from its cooperation partners.

EU-Association

With the signing of several association agreements at its summit that begins today, the EU is forging ahead with its integration of non-member countries into its global foreign and military policies, as is shown by the association agreements with Georgia, Moldavia and the Ukraine. Last March 21, Ukraine signed already the political section of the agreement.[1] Continue reading

Central banks’ investment in yuan puts currency nearer reserve status

At least 40 central banks have invested in the yuan and several others are preparing to do so, putting the mainland currency on the path to reserve status even before full convertibility, Standard Chartered said.

Twenty-three countries have publicly declared their holdings in yuan, in either the onshore or offshore markets, yet the real number of participating central banks could be far more than that, said Jukka Pihlman, Standard Chartered’s Singapore-based global head of central banks and sovereign wealth funds.

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US and China: The Fight for Latin America

According to Robert Valencia, China is vying for greater economic influence in Latin America, to include possibly constructing and operating an alternative ‘Panama Canal’ through Nicaragua. One unanticipated consequence of this burgeoning US-China rivalry, Valencia observes, is that it might push Latin American countries closer together.

During the first weekend of June, U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California to discuss cyber espionage and territorial claims in the Pacific Rim. While tension on these topics has hogged the headlines, the fight for influence in another area could be even more important—Latin America. Other emerging markets in Africa, where China has an overwhelming influence due to foreign direct investment in mining and oil, also offer economic opportunities, but Latin America has an abundance of natural resources, greater purchasing power, and geographic proximity to the United States, which has long considered Latin America as its “backyard.” Continue reading