Economy January 27, 2016 | 8:32 am

LatAm, Caribbean must rethink production model: Ex-president

Santo Domingo.- FormerPresident Leonel Fernandez on Tuesday said Latin America and the Caribbean mustrethink their production model to resume economic growth and successfully surmountglobal challenges.

Speaking at the 2ndInternational Conference "With all and for the good of all" inHavana, Cuba,

Fernandez said LatinAmerica and Caribbean in general grew only 0.4% in 2015, and citied the casesof Brazil and Venezuela, which contracted in 0.4% and 7%.

In his lecture on"Global Trends in an Era of Uncertainty" as part of the tribute to Cubannational hero Jose Marti, Fernandez said in the last 10 years the region´s productionmarket has been characterized by exports of oil, natural gas, copper, soybeansand other products to China, whose economy has slumped due to Europe´s stagnanteconomic growth.

Fernandez cautioned thatthe region´s future can no longer rely on the export of non-value added commodities,but instead on how to transform natural resources into products with higheradded value, to become part of a global values chain. "We´re talking aboutan economy of knowledge, and knowledge is higher education, science, technologyand innovation, where Cuba has given great lessons to the entire world."

In a statement releasedin Santo Domingo, Fernandez said the plunge in international oil prices due togeopolitical factors, which stems from competition between Saudi Arabia and US gasproducers, which want to keep their quotas intact.

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