To improve the economic growth, Latin America must consolidate its vaccination, reduce inequality and bet on the environment, the presidents of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica Y Guatemala, in a virtual meeting of the Davos Forum.
Vaccination is “the main program for the economic revival“, pointed out the right-wing president of Ecuador, William Lasso, remembering that 82% of the Ecuadorian population is vaccinated with two doses.
Latin America and the Caribbean, the most unequal region on the planet, has been hit hard by the Covid-19: represents only 8% of the world population, but concentrates about 30% of the Covid-19 deaths and the acceleration of vaccination campaigns remains one of its main challenges.
The President of Costa Rica, Charles Alvarado, took advantage of the meeting to criticize inequalities in access to immunizers, which, according to him, had an impact on the economic growth.
“We have one of the populations with the greatest willingness to be vaccinated, but we did not have the vaccines in a timely manner to do it more quickly,” he insisted, calling for greater solidarity between countries.
In 2020, when the global health emergency was declared, the START regional contracted 7%, more than three percentage points above the world average, according to the Inter-American Development Bank (BID).
Besides, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimated last Wednesday that the region will have a growth of 2.1% in 2022, well below the 6.2% of last year, affected by low investment and inflationary pressures.
The leaders who participated in the virtual meeting also expressed concern about inequalities, which worsened during the pandemic.
We must “continue closing the social gaps” in 2022, said the Colombian president, Ivan Duke.
His leftist Peruvian counterpart, peter castle, urged to strengthen “strategic” sectors such as health and education, in a country whose schools have been closed for two years due to the pandemic.
“We want economic growth to reach the smallest,” said the president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei. The president is committed to creating what he called “walls of prosperity” to reduce migration to U.S, through investments in employment, security, health and education.
The Guatemalan president also emphasized the climate change, which particularly affects the Central American region despite being one of those that emits less greenhouse gases.
The Costa Rican president recalled that the environmental Protection will be key for future investments and urged the main emitting countries to comply with environmental agreements.
Together with his Colombian counterpart, he called for greater access to the financing mechanism and congratulated the Ecuadorian government for expanding the protected maritime zone of the Galapagos Islands by 60,000 km2, which includes Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama.
The 2022 edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF) was postponed until the beginning of the boreal summer due to the omicron variant of the virus, but its organizers launched an “agenda of Davos 2022“, with online meetings to identify the main challenges that the world will face this year.