Former DR President Wants Economic Development Prioritized

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News Americas, Washington, DC, September 10, 2012: Former President of the Dominican Republic and President of Global Foundation for Democracy and Development and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo, Dr. Leonel Fernández, is urging countries in Latin America to prioritize economic development.

His call came on September 8th when he addressed the Fourteenth Annual Conference of the Andean Development Corporation, (CAF).

He also urged for a reduction of unemployment and restoring confidence in investment, as an expedited means of successfully confronting the current global crisis.

Dr. Fernández indicated that moving beyond the crisis would require passing through a phase characterized by a return to economic fundamentals – investment in infrastructure and human capital.

He highlighted that the future of Latin America, from an economic point of view, is not only dependent upon changing the paradigm, which is important, but also based on other relevant considerations for the future of the region.

“It is going to depend on leadership at a global level that values the courage to see that the solution to this is not applying austerity measures in the time of recession, because they will lead to a new depression. What it requires, rather, is to change this situation, but by prioritizing innovation, growth, reductions in unemployment and restoring confidence in investment,” proclaimed the former Head of State.

“If this is achieved in the centers of power, it will have a positive effect on the rest of Latin America,” assured the former president, referring to the relationship that exists between the United States and other countries throughout the continent.

Dr. Fernández insisted that moving beyond the crisis requires political incentives aimed at facilitating economic growth through human investment the generation of employment. In this respect, he attested that the best example of this line of action is the President of the United States Barack Obama, who has indicated this with insistence during the electoral debate currently taking place in the United States.

The former president of the Dominican Republic ascertained that the topic of the economic crisis has entered into debate not only in the United States, but also in Europe, provoking even substantial changes in the electoral map.

According to Dr. Fernández, in the short-term, the most effective strategy is to design and execute policies oriented to economic growth and the reduction of unemployment.

For medium and long term planning, Dr. Fernández recommended putting in place policy aimed at reducing the fiscal deficit and resolving the debt problem. He affirmed that Latin America has experience in this aspect, because it has experienced a permanent structural crisis.

Former United States President Jimmy Carter and Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) José Miguel Insulza were among the high-level speakers that participated in the international gathering. Welcome remarks were delivered by Enrique García, President of CAF; José Miguel Insulza and Michael Shifter, President of the Inter-American Dialogue. Dr. Fernández’s address was moderated by Carla A. Hills of the Inter-American Dialogue.

The conference also included the participation of: Chris Alden, Professor, London School of Economics; Changyong Rhee, Chief Economist, Asian Development Bank; Mzukisi Qobo, Professor, University of Pretoria; Lu Bo, Deputy Director, American Economic Affairs, CAITEC; Augusto de la Torre, Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, World Bank; Harinder Kohli, President & CEO, Centennial Group; Victor Rico, Special Advisor to the President, CAF-Development Bank of Latin America; Rosario Green, Senator, Mexico; Lázaro Cárdenas, Senior Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center International Center for Scholars; Ana María Sanjuan, Professor, Universidad Central de Venezuela; Luis Vicente León, Director, Datanálisis; Dan Restrepo, Former Director of Western Hemisphere Affairs, National Security Council; Clifford Sobel, Former US Ambassador to Brazil; Charles Shapiro, President, Institute of the Americas; Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, CEPAL; Alejandro Foxley, President, CIEPLAN; Hasan Tuluy, Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, World Bank; Santiago Levy, Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge, Inter-American Development Bank; Moisés Naím, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Luciana León, Member of Congress, Peru; Diego Cánepa, Secretary to the President, Uruguay; Daniel Mejía, Professor, Universidad de los Andes; Fernando Carrera, Head of Secretary of Planning, Guatemala; and Alejandro Hope, Director of Project “Less Crime, Less Punishment,” México Evalua and IMCO.

GFDD and FUNGLODE have long-standing relationships with both the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Dialogue, which have resulted in cooperation on numerous conferences, discussion panels and projects.

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