UNASUR Summit

Business diplomacy

September 09, 2009

The Unasur Summit showed that the best situation for the local bourgeoisie is to try and maintain regional stability, given that the preceding years of economic recuperation has reactivated trade between countries within the region and despite the international crisis trade has continued. This explains why not one president, including Chavez, Morales and Correa, was willing to break with Columbia for allowing the instillation of North American military bases. That’s why, beyond the clear differences and clashes, the overall objective of the summit was to save the unity and consensus.

This is particularly evident in the case of Brazil. As an editorial writer for Pagina 12 put it, “For Brazil, who’s GNP is equivalent to the GNP of all of the countries in the region put together, a South America in peace is an indispensible condition for its global project†(…) Brazil needs a region conflict free and minimally integrated around a leadership that the diplomats of Itamaraty present as positive†.

Along with being the projected leader of the region, Brazil greatly benefits from the fluid commercial exchange that it maintains with Venezuela. Along with businesses like PDVSA and Petrobras, Venezuela is now seventh in receiving exportations from Brazil, ranging from agricultural and food products to automobiles.

The Columbian businessmen are also interested in maintaining commercial ties with Brazil, now that the diplomatic conflicts with Chavez have been hurting their businesses, as was seen during the Military invasion in Ecuador in 2008. According to the official statistics from the Columbian business chamber, Venezuela is second, after the US, in receiving Columbia’s exports, which has increased 6 billion dollars, a 300% increase, in the last four years.

With differences, the commercial exchange between Latin American countries has become an excellent business for the local bourgeoisie and for multinational companies that are present in the region; these principles, not “ideological positions†are what direct the Latin American government’s diplomacy, where they continued to coexist with Chavez and the ALBA block with the United States’ unconditional allies, like Uribe, despite the right’s coup in Honduras and the North American military basses in Columbia.