Thomasians urged to link with Latin America

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Economic consultant Corrado Letta (center) speaks at the Fourth International Conference of the Philippine Academic Consortium on Latin American Studies held in UST last March 16. Photo by Deejae S. Dumlao

AN ECONOMIC consultant has urged Thomasians to engage in international linkages with countries in Latin America to strengthen economic ties between the Philippines and the region.

“The students participating in these activities will be contributing to the beneficial end of both parties and the enrichment of their own country’s economy and the other’s,” Corrado Letta, who teaches at the Universiti Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, told the Varsitarian.

Tomas Calvillo Unna, director of the Institute for Studies on Culture and Trade in the Pacific, said local universities should encourage their students to establish ties beyond Southeast Asia.

“These [Latin-American] countries have a lot of resources to share so it is only a matter of tapping on these embassies, which universities should actually encourage their students to do,” Unna said.

Belen Tangco, former dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, called on Thomasians to be part of the “social capital” of the country.

“Through the firms and industries of Latin American countries, Thomasians can be contributing to the economy, and their universities are also willing to start exchange programs with the University because we are closely working academically with them,” she said.

Tangco added that Latin American countries were “very eager” to accept students from the University.

Letta and Unna were in UST for the Fourth International Conference of the Philippine Academic Consortium on Latin American Studies (Paclas), organized by the Foreign Service Institute and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The first day of the conference was held at the Buenaventura G. Paredes, O.P. Building last March 16, while Ateneo de Manila hosted the second day on March 17.

UST has participated in Paclas’ international conferences since the group’s founding in 2002.

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