|Peru's President Ollanta Humala (C) poses for photographs with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (R) and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, during a press conference marking the first summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union (EU) in Santiago, capital of Chile, on Jan. 27, 2013. (Xinhua/Presidency of Peru)
SANTIAGO, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- The two-day summit of Latin American Community of States (CELAC) and EU ended here Sunday with a final declaration that calls for guaranteeing legal certainty for investors and avoiding protectionism.
"We have a good final declaration that spoke about the need to avoid protectionism and guarantee legal certainty for investment," said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
"Only under such conditions will we have the stability needed for the quality investment that creates sustainable growth. It is an important issue because investment needs legal certainty and so do citizens," he said.
Europe remains the largest foreign direct investor in Latin America and the Caribbean, with 43 percent of the total, EU President Herman Van Rompuy told a press conference.
Chile's President Sebastian Pinera, also the host of the summit, said the legal certainty investors are seeking is relevant on both continents.
Highlighting of this issue might be considered a rebuke to Argentina, whose government nationalized 51 percent of energy company YPF, which Spain's Repsol had bought in 1999 for 15 billion euros.
Last year, Latin America's richest man, Carlos Slim, bought a 24 percent stake in Dutch telecoms firm KPN using money from Slim' s continent spanning cellphone firm America Movil. He already owned 21 percent of Telekom Austria.
CELAC was formed in December 2010 in Mexican resort city Cancun largely at the urging of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, who sought an organization like the Organization of American States ( OAS) without the leadership of the United States and Canada.
Chavez hosted CELAC's first summit in December 2011 and had wanted the body to focus on social issues. However, Pinera, a former businessman, has made economic issues this summit's major subject.
At the post summit press conference, Pinera was keen to stifle claims that CELAC was in competition with the OAS.
"They are complementary. They have many of the same members, but CELAC does not include the U.S. and Canada," he said. CELAC does include Cuba, which will be the organization's president for a year starting on Monday. The OAS has shut Cuba out, largely due to the U.S. pressure, ever since the 1960s.
Representatives of 61 nations, including 43 heads of state, attended the CELAC-EU summit, which runs Saturday and Sunday here. Croatia, which will become a full member of the European Union in July, was invited to this conference ahead of being fully qualified.