On the eve of his trip to Argentina at the head of a large delegation of cabinet ministers, governors and mayors, Chile’s Foreign Minster Heraldo Munoz told the Argentine daily Pagina 12 that it is necessary now to “advance toward a global financial system that reflects the new realities” of the world.
Currently, he said, the world is still operating on the basis of a system that was built right after World War II, and it clearly is failing to address the challenging problems facing humanity. That is why, he said, “more recently, we’ve seen the forceful emergence of initiatives such as the BRICS development bank.” He decried the “vacuum in global leadership,” which, he said, has made the world much more “unpredictable” than it was 20 years ago.
Munoz arrived in Argentina to attend the VI Binational Argentine-Chile Ministerial Meeting, while parliamentarians and governors met with their Argentine counterparts in the IV Meeting of Argentine-Chilean Governors and Mayors of the Common Border, and the XVIII Meeting of the Joint Argentine-Chilean Parliamentary Commission.
In his interview with Pagina 12, published Aug. 29, Munoz also expressed Chile’s solidarity with Argentina in the latter’s battle with speculative vulture funds, saying that this is “an issue of tremendous concern to us. We can’t allow speculative agents to jeopardize agreements between creditors and debtors.”
President Michelle Bachelet, who took office in March of this year, has set as a goal improving relations with Argentina and other Ibero-American governments which were largely ignored by the previous right-wing government of Sebastian Pinera. Munoz emphasized, as did his Argentine hosts, that the two nations enjoy a “strategic alliance” and want to cooperate in a number of areas to strengthen their physical-economic integration, particularly along the long border they share.
Two large infrastructure projects were high on the agenda of discussions during the Aug. 29 meetings: the Agua Negra bioceanic tunnel, which will connect the two countries through the Coquimbo region of Chile and the western Argentine province of San Juan; and the Aconcagua bioceanic corridor, which includes the completion of a trans-Andean railroad. The latter, said Argentine chief of staff Jorge Capitanich, would help to enhance the “physical connectivity” between the two nations.