At first Summit of Leaders of the Alliance for Economic Prosperity in the Americas (APEP), Biden pushes for growth of middle-class across Americas.
President Joe Biden unveiled a series of initiatives on Friday aimed at bolstering the economies of Latin American countries. One key measure involves the establishment of a mechanism to promote the issuance of “green bonds,” with the goal of assisting these nations in reducing their debts and fostering economic prosperity.
These initiatives were detailed during the plenary session of the inaugural Summit of Leaders of the Alliance for Economic Prosperity in the Americas (APEP), held at the White House. Attending the summit were ten regional leaders and two foreign ministers.
Pushing growth of middle class
Addressing a multitude of cameras, President Biden emphasized the paramount importance of advancing middle-class growth across the region. This approach serves as a linchpin of his domestic economic policy, which he extends to his foreign policy agenda.
Biden articulated, “There is an opportunity for the middle class and the working class to grow, to increase possibilities and reduce inequality, to take advantage of the incredible economic potential of the Americas and turn the American continent into the most economically competitive region in the world. I think it is within our reach.”
Seated beside President Biden were Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves Robles, a key proponent of APEP, and Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou. The remaining leaders sat around a U-shaped table.
During his address, President Biden offered a preview of the measures set to be announced upon the summit’s conclusion. These include the establishment of a “nature fund” in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), of which the U.S. is the largest shareholder. This fund will facilitate investment in “green bonds,” which are financial instruments issued by public or private entities to fund projects aimed at environmental improvement. Additionally, investment in “blue bonds,” dedicated to preserving oceans and their ecosystems, will be encouraged.
President Biden also took the opportunity to introduce a “business accelerator” program, led by Uruguay, to stimulate private capital investment in emerging businesses throughout the region. Furthermore, a technology industry training center will be established in Costa Rica.
The Chilean Government pledged to spearhead “new initiatives” aimed at developing a space industry in the region, leveraging satellite technology more effectively.
Addressing the immigration issue, President Biden underscored the need for shared responsibility in managing the substantial flow of human movement across the region. He emphasized, “We must ensure that communities have the resources they need to be able to take care of migrants.”
Following President Biden’s remarks, the press was asked to leave the room, precluding them from hearing the ensuing discussions among the leaders.
The Alliance for Economic Prosperity in the Americas was launched by President Biden in 2022 during the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. Its primary objective is to combat economic inequality and promote regional integration. This summit marks the first gathering of its leaders.
In addition to President Biden, participating leaders include Dina Boluarte of Peru, Gustavo Petro of Colombia, Gabriel Boric of Chile, Luis Lacalle Pou of Uruguay, Luis Abinader of the Dominican Republic, Rodrigo Chaves of Costa Rica, and Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador. Also in attendance are Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, as well as the Foreign Ministers Alicia Bárcena of Mexico and Janaina Tewaney of Panama.