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In Colombia, Obama touts democracy as way to sustain economic growth

CARTAGENA, Colombia – President Barack Obama is touting the growing economies of Latin America, saying the region has moved well beyond an era of cold war tensions and now presents a tremendous trade opportunity for the United States.

He says “clean transparent government” is essential to create opportunity for the region’s people. He complimented the governments of Colombia and Brazil for creating effective government that have sustained economic growth.

Obama was speaking Saturday at a CEO summit during the Summit of the Americas in Colombia. The president was aiming to convince U.S. business leaders that he’s serious about expanding trade in Latin America.

Obama says 40 per cent of U.S. exports go to this region, supporting nearly 4 million U.S. jobs. China, however, has become a bigger trading partner with some South American countries.