Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela are the countries which most reduced inequality and poverty during the last decade in Latinamerica, according to Alicia Bárcena, executive secretary from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Cepal.
“There’s a big cut when one compares the decade of the nineties in Argentina, together with Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela, they are the countries which most reduced inequality and poverty”, said Ms Barcena interviewed by the Buenos Aires press.
“We can say Latinamerica is nowadays a progressive region of the world, since the only way out of inequality is with jobs, but jobs with rights and protection”.
“Progressive countries leave a very positive legacy, since there is no way back for social policies. Social expenditure is not lost, on the contrary it has become the dynamo for several economies” underlined Ms Barcena who nevertheless pointed out that “investment in science and technology is one of the region’s main deficits”, and must be addressed if the path to effectively eliminate poverty is to continue.
In this area “definitively government expenditure must play a central role. Investment in research and development must increase: currently it is a mere 0.6% while countries such as South Korea invest 4% of GDP”.
Further on Ms Barcena said that “the path to development is productive convergence, rearticulating productive sectors, making them more dynamic and beginning the process of re-industrialization”.
The region must take advantage of its domestic markets, such is the case of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, and should become the locomotives for the rest of the region.
“It is a fact that when Brazil expands, the surrounding economies grow and that is good news for all of us”.
Finally Ms Barcena said that even when the state has a crucial role to play as an active sponsor of development it must also reach agreements, social pacts with the productive sectors, “because the state is not that over-whelming force that can do it all”.