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Press Release

Ibero-America Looks to the New Silk Road
After Beijing Summit

May 2017

Alicia Bárcena

May 17, 2017 (EIRNS)—China’s clear invitation to the Americas to join the Silk Road during last weekend’s Belt and Road International Forum, is reverberating across Ibero-America. Until now, most people in the region had viewed the Belt and Road as something "over there," in which their nations were not involved.

Alicia Bárcena, head of the Santiago, Chile-based U.N. Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), who has advocated for some time that the region turn to China, is already organizing. The ECLAC issued a press release immediately upon her return from the BRI summit which quotes her call to action:

"At this critical juncture in human history, Latin America and the Caribbean simply cannot be left behind.... And, as our friend and strategic partner, we look to China for support and guidance.... I call on the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean to harness the potential that this initiative of One Belt One Road has for redefining capitalism through people’s equality and dignity,"

Bárcena said.

Luis Alberto Moreno

The head of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), Luis Alberto Moreno, generally known for playing ball with the Wall Street Establishment, recognized the change accomplished by the Belt and Road Forum, telling Xinhua that

"as far as Latin America is concerned, the fact of its being included within this Silk Road initiative, that it is not only a limited group of countries which participate, but the entire world, is a great decision....

"I have faith that with the passage of time, we will find ways to do a Belt and Road a la Latin America. We have trade routes but lack the infrastructure necessary to empower that trade."

Moreno reported that the IADB and the AIIB will be working together to remedy that lack, including co-financing projects.

Likewise, Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism issued a report after that Minister returned from Beijing, announcing that the government of Pedro Pablo Kuzcinski looks to the New Silk Road with optimism. The ancient Silk Road contributed to improving commercial relations between Asia, Europe, and Africa, and now, in the 21st century, this initiative will contribute to the inclusion of the Americas. Peru is in a strategic position in South America to take advantage of this, the Ministry said.