July 21 News Brief South America

Eduardo Herrera

LIMA, Peru – García underscores excellent relations between Peru, Colombia: During his speech at the ceremony to commemorate the 119th anniversary of Colombian independence at the country’s embassy in Lima on July 20, President Alan García underscored the “excellent” state of current relations between the two South American countries. The president awarded Colombian Ambassador Álvaro Pava the Grand Cross of the Order of the Sun in recognition of “his work and constant support and dedication to strengthening bilateral relations.

[EFE, El Espectador]

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – South America needs more qualified labor: A survey carried out by the consultancy firm Manpower Argentina covering 12,300 employers on the continent has revealed that 36 percent of those questioned are unable to fill positions requiring qualified personnel despite the fact that the global financial crisis has increased the number of people looking for work. Fifty-six percent of employers in Peru, 48 percent in Costa Rica and 44 percent in Mexico find it more difficult to fill these positions than employers in the United States (19%), Guatemala (20%) and Canada (24%).

[Clarín, ABC Color, EFE]

SAO PAULO, Brazil – Sugar exports rise in first half of year: Brazilian sugar exports rose by 53 percent during the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period the year before. The Sugar Cane Industry Union announced that exports rose from US$2 billion in the first half of 2008 to US$3.19 billion between January and June of this year. The main destinations were Russia (16%), India (15%), Bangladesh (6%), the United Arab Emirates (5%) and Nigeria (5%).

[EFE, Últimosegundo]

ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay – Enthusiasm over Brazilian offer on Itaipú energy: The director of the binational Itaipú dam, Carlos Mateo Balmelli, has said that an agreement with Brazil for the free sale of excess energy is “imminent. According to Balmelli, Presidents Fernando Lugo and Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva are set to announce the agreement at the Mercosur Summit in Asunción on July 23. Under the new contract, Paraguay will be allowed to sell excess energy from Itaipú freely in Brazil, and not solely to the state-owned company Electrobras, as established by the current agreement.

[EFE, Reuters, Ansa]

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