On an official visit to Chile, the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament Urban Ahlin participated on Monday, March 7 in a round table at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, in which they addressed the region’s economic, social and environmental challenges.
The senior official and his delegation, formed by Kiefer Jakob, Sweden’s Ambassador to Chile and other representatives of the Swedish Parliament, the Embassy of Sweden in Chile and the Chilean-Swedish Institute of Culture, were received by ECLAC’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Antonio Prado, who led the event.
The activity included presentations by Daniel Titelman, Director of ECLAC’s Economic Development Division; Mario Cimoli, Director of the Division of Production, Productivity and Management and Officer-in-Charge of the International Trade and Integration Division; Azhar Jaimurzina, Officer-in-Charge of the Infrastructure Services Unit of the Natural Resources and Infrastructure Division; Vera Kiss, Economic Affairs Officer of the Division of Sustainable Development and Human Settlements; Jorge Katz, Adviser of the Division of Production, Productivity and Management; and Charly Ekberg, representative of the Swedish company Atlas Copco.
Antonio Prado highlighted the contribution of Swedish diplomacy both in Chile and to the world’s history, and described the “tectonic changes” that are currently transforming the world. He also shared with Urban Ahlin details of ECLAC’s preparations for its next session, the most important biennial meeting of this United Nations organization, to be held on May 23-27, 2016 in Mexico City. During this meeting, Prado stated that ECLAC will launch the document Horizons 2030: Equality at the Centre of Sustainable Development, which aims to interpret the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development from ECLAC’s perspective.
The Swedish representative expressed his recognition of ECLAC’s intellectual production, an institution he described as a reference point in the study of Latin American and Caribbean reality for his country’s Parliament. In line with Antonio Prado’s presentation, Ahlin highlighted, among the most pressing matters faced currently by those countries, the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution and the pressure for adapting speedily to the technological changes that the latter entails.
During the round table, participants analyzed the current scene of deceleration that Latin America and the Caribbean faces after practically two decades of prosperity. The debate was centered on the region’s structural heterogeneity and the different macro and microeconomic challenges that countries face today. The opportunities of counting on global economic governance, which includes, for example, the coordination of policies, were also examined.
The round table also addressed the role of China and the challenges related to the governance of natural resources, urbanization, energy efficiency and climate change.