Arancha González Laya urges promoting a new international trade system that is more inclusive and that ensures a better distribution of its costs and benefits

The Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) of the Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), Arancha González Laya, today urged the promotion of a new international trade system that is more inclusive and that ensures a better distribution of its costs and benefits, during a keynote speech delivered at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile, where she was received by José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, Executive Secretary of the regional organization.

“I invite ECLAC to be the engine of thought for a new international economic order that helps us not to repeat the center and periphery that marked its beginnings, but instead allows everyone – center and periphery, north and south – to improve the lives of their citizens through the economy, international trade and regional integration,” he stressed.

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain offered a conference entitled “Globalization, regionalization and the challenges of economic integration in Latin America and the Caribbean”, which began a cycle of Keynote Lectures organized as part of the commemoration of ECLAC’s 75th anniversary.

“We are heading to a new world with the struggle for global hegemony as a backdrop. A world in which closure, not opening, appears as the main rule, ”she warned during her presentation.

He specified that the international economic order has been suffering attacks and transformations. The first was the financial crisis of 2008, which left deep scars of inequality and showed the enormous flaws of an open system, but with insufficient regulation.

“We must seek a new international consensus for trade and the economy, today crossed by the risk and cost of a new exclusion, of another new geopolitical fragmentation,” he asserted.

“This is the moment for ECLAC to once again show that leadership capacity in imagining the international economic system. It is important to continue weaving international agreements to manage our interdependence and to do it multilaterally,” he added.

Arancha González Laya stressed that the multilateral system may no longer have the mission of promoting convergence, but of helping to manage the risk of divergences, of preventing trade differences or disputes from turning into trade wars.

He pointed out that the multilateral trade system will have to find a new balance in three fundamental issues: national security, public subsidies and the conflict resolution system.

“These rules will probably be more flexible than they are today, but we need them, because without them we will not be able to guarantee equal opportunities for all members of the international community in the economy. We will then be creating a new center, with a new periphery”, he affirmed.

The Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs stressed that the implementation of measures is required so that trade benefits everyone.

“It is a task of coherence of public policies. Many of the problems of our economies have nothing to do with their trade policies, they have a lot to do with the absence of other policies: fair taxation, quality education and training, social protection networks for citizens who today also face this enormous challenge of technological, climatic and geopolitical transformations in our economies and have to be able to navigate them; or open industrial policies that guarantee investment without unbalancing the playing field”, she emphasized.

At the opening of the conference, the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, highlighted that, in the year of celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the regional commission, it is very appropriate to start the cycle of Master Lectures with a presentation by Arancha González Laya on Globalization, regionalization and the challenges of economic integration in Latin America and the Caribbean, not only because of the great changes that are taking place in the world and in globalization, but also because it is a topic that has been central in the historical concerns of ECLAC.

“Since its inception, ECLAC not only analyzed but also theorized the nature of the world economic system, beginning with the well-known model of center and periphery, continuing with dependency theories and other approaches, and made practical recommendations on how to improve the world economic system, both commercially and financially, to make it more friendly to the development aspirations of Latin America and the Caribbean, and to developing countries in general,” he stated.

The senior United Nations official stressed that the cycle of conferences that began today will not only celebrate the great contributions of the past, but will also allow us to reflect on the current and future challenges of the region and of ECLAC.

“We have invited eminent thinkers to accompany us until the conclusion of the commemorative cycle in February 2024, in order to share themes and new perspectives to guide a dialogue and renewed thinking about the coming years of the region and the organization,” he added.

Finally, the highest representative of ECLAC announced that all the keynote speeches will be compiled in a commemorative book for the 75th anniversary that will be published in mid-2024.

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Written by Editor TLN

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