Recommendations for cooperative and strengthened relationship between the two regions toward the 21st century.
  • Exchanges of (1) government policymakers and development planners; (2) business and trade delegations; (3) students and scholars; and (4) experts/researchers among FEALAC member countries in such areas as science, technology, politics, culture, education, etc. It is envisioned that there will be 2 visits in a year.
  • Promotion of a common language in order to facilitate communication and expand mutual interaction among FEALAC member countries
  • Come up with cultural exchange programs which will, among others, (1) promote Asian languages in Latin America; and (2) promote Spanish in East Asia
  • Establish more bilateral and multilateral agreements among FEALAC member countries
  • Organize more symposia, conferences, seminars, and workshops involving poverty reduction. An initial symposium can be held wherein economic development planners from member countries can share experiences concerning certain aspects of poverty reduction. In this conference, if it will be agreed on, a comparison of country strategies can be made.
  • Creation of a web page that will provide information on business and economic matters in FEALAC member countries. Information centers will also be established in these countries to serve as repositories for materials on FEALAC matters as well as to provide basic information on member countries for interested sectors.
  • Provide policy support for small and medium enterprises, especially financial, technical and information support.

1. Actual Situation

(1) Asia

Poverty continues to be a major challenge to many Asian countries today and the pursuit of economic development is a priority in the region.

Trends in poverty reduction had been positive in East and Southeast Asia until recently. However, the financial crisis in 1997 brought declines in Gross Domestic Product figures of the Asian economies that were worst affected. These new hardships partly reversed the gains made in the period of economic boom during the 1980s and early 1990s. At present, several economies are facing low levels of economic activity that threaten to increase the incidence of poverty in the region and worsen the unemployment rate.

(2) Latin America

Latin America has begun to formulate and implement policies for hastening and sustaining economic development. The combat and the eradication of poverty need to be considered in terms of possibilities and opportunities for the insertion of Latin American economies in the globalization process, such as having integral access to the international market. Poverty in Latin America finds itself in very high levels, more as a consequence of the interplay of historical and political rather than economic factors. These have substantially affected the quality of life and the economic development of Latin American countries.

The Economic Commission for Latin America (CEPAL) recently presented the current situation of Latin America with regard to economic development and poverty. The Latin American region was recognized as having the greatest degree of income inequality. It was found that there are more than 211 million poor people, and of these, more than 89 million are living under the line of indigence. The urban poor numbered more than 134 million while there were 77 million people classified as rural poor.

2. Common Problems and Measures to Overcome the Problems

During the discussion, three concerns common to both East Asia and Latin America were raised: (1) human resource development; (2) the existing Post-Financial Crisis situation; and (3) the existence of poverty in both regions. However, due to the different situation being faced by Cuba, it was expressed that these concerns were hardly applicable to this country, except for (2). The concerns and the suggested solutions are as follows:

(1) Human Resource Development

  • Better access to basic education.
  • Increased government support for health services.
  • Better access to technology.
  • Training programs.
  • Promotion of languages

(2) Post-Financial Crisis Situation.

  • Education in liability management.
  • Promotion of open economic systems and attracting investments.
  • Stabilization efforts in both Latin America and East Asia.
  • Crafting new and alternative economic development strategies for member countries.
  • Minimizing market risk.

(3) Poverty

  • Transparency in economic policymaking.
  • Community empowerment programs.
  • Promotion of more private initiatives to provide employment and business opportunities.
  • Encourage the corporate sector and foreign investors to exercise corporate responsibility and to participate in existing social programs, if not come up with new ones.
  • Crafting new and alternative economic development strategies for member countries.
  • Promotion of equal opportunities (employment, education, health, social services, etc.)

Back to Index