Maisto, U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American
States (OAS), arrived yesterday in Montevideo to meet with
authorities of the newly elected government of Uruguay and
discuss various issues regarding the upcoming Summit of
the Americas scheduled for November 4 and 5 in Argentina.
In a press conference, Ambassador Maisto
stated that his meetings with President Tabare Vazquez,
the Minister of Finance Danilo Astori, and External Affairs
Minister Reinaldo Gargano, were very productive and that
the new government's perspectives on the issue of reviving
the economies of the region through policies that would
attract foreign and national investments are consistent
with the theme of this year's OAS General Assembly in Fort
In his statement, Maisto emphasized the
need to reduce poverty and the high rate of unemployment
in the region. Governments "should not suffocate the
economy", instead they should attract private investment
by "seducing it". Small and medium-sized enterprises
(SME) generate over 60 % of the total number of jobs. By
creating an environment that will attract private investment,
governments can stimulate the growth of SME's and generate
more jobs. Through good governance, effective anti-corruption
measures, respect for the rule of law, good education, health,
and basic infrastructure, governments can promote private
sector-led growth to create jobs and reduce poverty.
The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
continues to be a priority for the Bush administration.
Maisto added that the United States and Brazil are committed
to this process in the region, and that the negotiations
are very positive.
President Tabare Vazquez, right, speaking
with Ambassador Maisto and U.S. Charge D'Affaires James
Ambassador Maisto, accompanied by the
U.S. Embassy's Economic and Political officer Oliver Griffith,
during a meeting with Minister Reinaldo Gargano, right middle.
Ambassador Maisto meeting with Minister