Europe-Latin America: Close in Trade, Worlds Apart in News Coverage
EUROPE, 5 Jul 2010
While a considerable portion of economic and trade data shows that relations between Europe and Latin America are positive, reinforcing their historic cultural closeness, for some time now news about Latin America has been a low priority for the European media, which is effecting the thinking of the leaders and citizens of the old continent and pushing Latin America in a direction that runs contratry to European interests, writes Mario Lubetkin, director-general of the Inter Press Service news agency.
In the recent Euro-Latin American Summit held in Madrid last May, free-trade accords were agreed with Central America and certain Andean countries and negotiations with the Common Market of the South. The EU is currently the principal trading partner of Mercosur. Nonetheless, in news coverage in the European media, Europe comes first, then the United States, then Asia for economic and strategic reasons, then Africa for humanitarian and immigration reasons, and finally Latin America.
Certain European leaders think that their countries are “distracted” from Latin America; however, as pointed out in a recent report from CEPAL, global bilateral relations require greater attention, because while the past may have united both regions, the current behaviour of the market will shape new alliances. Indeed, trade forecasts now indicate that in 2020 Latin America’s main trade partner will be China, not Europe.
Mario Lubetkin, director-general of the Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency.
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