ALBA: Integration Strategy with Practical Mechanisms
Caracas.- Beyond its strategic importance as a new kind of cooperation alliance, the Sixth Summit of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) paved the way to immediate development projects.
Unlike other presidential meetings, the summit held in Caracas from January 24-26 debated the implementation of concrete self-financed programs.
A major element in this approach is the ALBA Bank, made up of Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, which has excluded traditional concepts to seek profits to focus on benefits for the peoples.
Venezuelan Finance Minister Rafael Isea pointed out that the banks first actions would be aimed at defining the domestic policies to approve "grand national" projects, based on proposals by the ALBA Ministerial Council.
As grand national, ALBA experts define joint projects among member countries that are aimed at benefiting the peoples instead of seeking profits, unlike the principle of transnational companies.
Cuban Central Bank President Francisco Soberon told reporters that the new financial body would fund projects that similar institutions would reject.
Unlike commercial banks, which reject low-profit loan requests, the new mechanism will consider the productive, social and ecological impact of the projects, he added.
Therefore, each partner country will supply capital to the bank, which will also receive funds from third parties, because it will open so strong that it will be a perfectly-viable alternative in a relatively short term, Soberon pointed out.
He explained that one of the main characteristics of the bank, unlike other similar institutions, is that it will not play a hegemonic role, and its decisions will be based on equal votes, independently from the partners level of participation.
However, although the creation of the ALBA Bank was one of the key issues debated at the groups summit, the initiatives reach is greater, as it is regarded as a project aimed at the Great American Nation.
Cooperation and social benefits instead of competition and profits make the ALBA a new kind of group aimed at achieving strategic goals based on concrete actions with short- and medium-term results.
Source: Prensa Latina