Calderon pledges to relaunch Puebla-Panama Plan
From El Universal, Oct. 4 via Chiapas95, Oct. 4 (our translation):
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica.- The president-elect of Mexico, Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, and that of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, agreed on the need to re-evaluate and re-analyze the Plan Puebla-Panama (PPP); and on the possibility of creating a Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (ALCA). Arias said "there are many obstacles", including the "great hypocrisy" of countries like the United States, "that talk in favor of free trade but don't practice it."
Calderon Hinojosa, in his first tour of Central America as president-elect, met in private with the leaders of El Salvador, Antonio Saca, and of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, in anticipation of the summit of the nations involved in the Central American System of Integration (SICA), to be held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
In a joint press conference Arias and Calderon stressed the importance of encouraging regional trade to spur development.
Both referred to the PPP. Calderon said: "For regional development to go forward, it is necessary to have a coherent long-range plan to realize vital projects in the areas of energy and infrastructure."
The president of Costa Rica said: "Now it is important to integrate our brother country Colombia, which can give greater dynamism to the economies of Central America. We depend on the growth of markets, on regional programs like this; this is vital for us."
Calderon pledged his government will "play a role of equilibrium and moderation" in the development of Latin America, and promised to maintain respectful relations with Venezuela and Cuba.