ASPA summit is a ‘golden opportunity’ for sustainable development


The Third Summit of the South American-Arab Countries (ASPA) will provide a ‘golden opportunity’ for the countries in both regions to work towards sustainable development, said Gustavo Bravo, Charge d’ Affaires at the Peruvian Embassy in Kuwait.

The ASPA summit, a forum for policy coordination between the countries in Arab and South American regions, will be held in the Peruvian capital of Lima on October 1 and 2, 2012.

The upcoming summit will focus on bolstering trade and investment cooperation between the two regions in addition to exploring means to enrich common cultural values.

“The summit will look at ways of enhancing reciprocal flows of trade and investment in key sectors such as water resources, agriculture, food, energy, transportation, telecommunications and tourism infrastructure,” Bravo was quoted as saying by Kuwait Times.

“From the very roots of the colonial history, the South American countries share many cultural features with the millennial Arab civilization, conveyed to them through the Iberian culture of the XV century,” Bravo said adding that the geographic distance and historical ups and downs separated their countries during the formative period of their respective ‘nation states’.

“But nowadays, their paths have begun to converge as both regions share the same interest for social and economic development, for the preservation of the environment and for an intercultural dialogue. There are many commonalities in cultural aspects such as language, cuisine and many core values that bind the two regions,” he pointed out.

According to Bravo, ASPA would further build on the economic and technological advancements being made by the countries in the last few decades and consolidate world peace for which both regions aspire.

“At the same, it is also important to address some of the common challenges the regions face today. Some of the ASPA members need solidarity and support today to consolidate the process of reconstruction and democratic reforms they initiated in their countries. The third ASPA summit will provide an ideal forum for the Arab and South American nations to express their support to their partners and help materialize their goals through South-South Cooperation,” he added.

Talking about ASPA CEO summit, that runs parallel to the main summit, he said it will bring together not only the heads of state and government of the member countries of ASPA, but also top businessmen from Arab countries and South America.

The summit will hold discussions on high priority subjects for the development of both regions, the sharing of experiences, promoting businesses and boosting investment infrastructure. Top priority areas will include sectors such as telecommunications, energy, services, tourism, trade and agribusiness.

A high-ranking delegation comprising top government officials and businessmen from Kuwait will attend the summit, Bravo informed adding that the bilateral relations between Kuwait and Peru have grown significantly in the last few years.

His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah will attend the summit of the heads of state and government on Oct 2 while Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah will participate in the meeting of the Council of the Foreign Affairs on Oct 1.

“The summit is expected to further boost the bilateral relations between Kuwait and Peru and many investment and cooperation agreements are also in the pipeline,” Bravo said.

Peru opened its embassy in Kuwait in November 2011. A new ambassador is expected to arrive soon. Similarly, Kuwait is also expected to announce its envoy to Peru and open its embassy in Lima soon strengthening its bilateral relations with the country.

Peru has managed to sustain a 7 percent GDP growth rate on an average during the last ten years despite the global economic turmoil. Terming it as ‘Peruvian Miracle’, he said, “our economic growth can be visible in all sectors, be it agriculture, mining, tourism or natural gas,” he said.

ASPA is composed of 34 countries – 12 South American and 22 Arab states. It has been founded with the support and coordination of the League of Arab States and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).

The South American member states are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. The Arab member states are: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The ASPA summit, a forum for policy coordination between the countries in Arab and South American regions, will be held in the Peruvian capital on October 1 and 2, 2012.