Developing nations meet in Buenos Aires for South-South Cooperation Conference

Global Business

Leaders of developing nations are meeting in Buenos Aires this week at the United Nations South-South Cooperation Conference. Their aim is to agree on a shared path for development goals. CGTN’s Joel Richards reports.

“At the political level, our objective is to have South-South Cooperation and triangular cooperation validated as a central pillar of the global partnership we have to build to have a sustainable world,” Jorge Chediek, director of United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation said.

South-South Cooperation began as a show of solidarity among developing countries primarily in the Southern Hemisphere in the 1950s, sharing development policy ideas. But for many years, participants opted for solutions and proposals from developed nations.

“This has changed significantly this century. It has changed because many countries of the south, China is a paramount example, have shown they can develop their own path for development and achieve extraordinary results,” Chediek added.

This week the head of the Chinese delegation, Vice Premier Hu Chunhua met with Argentine President Mauricio Macri. The bilateral trade relationship between China and Argentina continues to expand in areas ranging from infrastructure and agriculture. Since 2008, China has financed more than $18 billion in projects — just one example of south-south cooperation.

According to the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, China is a primary investor leading by example.

“What China has done in the context of the opening up and reform process in the last 40 years is one of the most extraordinary achievements in the history of development,” Chediek said. “Taking 700 million people out of poverty, turning the economy from basic substance agrarian economy into one of the most advanced economies is an extraordinary example.”

But the challenge remains how experiences of one developing nation can be translated to others.

“China started its development reform process 40 years ago with a level of GDP per capita similar to many counties in Africa today or even lower. So in a way you can’t replicate some of those factors. Then the lessons of policy that were taken from China can be applied,” Chediek added.