WITH THE SUPPORT of London Mayor, Boris Johnson, City Hall recently hosted an event marking the official launch of the Latin American Forum, a new privately led initiative for the discussion of business and professional affairs affecting Latin America and the UK. As Foreign Secretary William Hague recently told The Telegraph: ‘We are turning around decades of British withdrawal in Latin America…’ Europe, of course, has historically tended to look south east to Asia for economic opportunities rather than to the south west, to a region which has only recently entered a period of comparative political and economic stability. Latin America’s exceptional natural resources offering has been fundamental in stimulating high levels of foreign direct investment which have underpinned impressive growth in recent years. Who would have thought that Latin America might come to account for some 10 per cent of the global economy? Now is the time to reassess Latin America’s potential. something the uK is wising up to – with the British government boosting its presence in the region, expanding its offices in são paulo, Mexico City, Bogata and santiago. With its fast-growing middle classes and consequently expanding consumer spending power, Latin America in 2012 is a market which simply cannot be ignored.
Accordingly, Diplomat’s special report on Latin America includes contributions from Canning house’s Director General, Mexico’s Foreign Minister, plus the Ambassadors of Colombia, the Dominican republic and Venezuela.
Closer to home, in our regular column ‘Westminster reflections,’ Conservative Mp Bernard Jenkin continues to tackle the tricky issues of the day in parliament. iran has recently announced that it will begin fuelling its research reactor in tehran with domestically enriched uranium, along with the development of new, faster ‘fourth generation centrifuges’. Jenkin considers the seriousness of iran drawing closer to its goal of developing a nuclear weapon. Whether iran would fire the weapons is not the only question; the mere possession of such weapons would most likely trigger an arms race in the Middle east. he suggests ‘it is far more likely we will avoid war if we show ourselves prepared to use military force.’ sobering stuff.
As always, Diplomat reviews the credentials of new heads of mission to the Court of st James’s, this month meeting with the Ambassador of Moldova. We also met with the new head of the taipei representative office in London. For our series of photographic portraits, we feature her excellency Ana irene Delgado, panama’s glamorous, young Ambassador. in the lifestyle section, Diplomat tries three very different hotels in the multicultural city of Barcelona, enjoys a stay in the stunning Jaguar suite at 51 Buckingham Gate and lunch at Nahm, the Thai restaurant at The halkin hotel. readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice in our book and art reviews, including details of the fabulous new Alighiero Boetti exhibition at the tate Modern. Finally, we want to hear from you, our readers, on article suggestions, new appointments, local news, issues and other embassy events that you would like covered.