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Latam has “unprecedented opportunity” to double GDP in next 14 years

Saturday, May 28th 2011 - 08:21 UTC
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IADB Luis Alberto Moreno: “ambitious but attainable” goal IADB Luis Alberto Moreno: “ambitious but attainable” goal

The nations of Latin America and the Caribbean have an unprecedented opportunity to attain human development standards comparable to the industrialized world by 2025, Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno said on Friday.

Speaking at the launch of his new book, “The decade of Latin America and the Caribbean: a real opportunity”, Moreno said that if the region sustains its current average growth rate, it could double its GDP within 14 years. The region’s average per capita income would also double shortly thereafter.

“Were we to achieve this, poverty in our region would drop from 32% to a little more than 10% of the population,” Moreno said. The middle class would expand to more than 500 million people, or 75% of the region’s total population. “This would allow us to close, at last, the terrible income gap that still persists in our societies,” Moreno added.

Moreno said that this target was “ambitious, but attainable” thanks to the convergence of two broad trends: Latin America’s significant progress over the last 20 years, and the accelerating shift toward “South-South” trade between emerging economies.

External factors such as surging commodity prices and inflows of foreign capital have fuelled the region’s recent growth, Moreno said. However, he argued that in contrast to the short-lived economic booms of the previous century, the current outlook for Latin America reflects fundamental shifts in global trade flows that are likely to last for decades.

To take advantage of these favourable trends and sustain a growth, Moreno said the region will need to redouble its efforts to boost productivity, improve the quality education, increase investments in research, innovation and infrastructure, and prevent violent crime.

Moreno said policymakers must also strengthen macroeconomic policies to appropriately manage the risks associated to a tide of capital inflows and terms of trade gains, as well as to protect against adverse external shocks. He said measures such as “rainy-day” funds, which set aside a portion of income from commodity exports, can help to cushion such shocks while providing resources to finance investments in productivity and innovation.

Moreno acknowledged that these proposals are not new, but he argued that Latin America’s current prospects offer a chance to set more ambitious timelines for achieving them.

“What is new is the conviction that none of these obstacles is significant enough to prevent us from reaching the goal of doubling our GDP in little more than a decade,” Moreno said, “and the certainty that our region is capable of generating solutions based on our own experience and our own vision for the future.”

Categories: Economy, Latin America.

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  • so_far

    LatAm your time is comming......UK, be smart is time to sit down for negotiate now (exactly as the repeated calls of the UN , UNASUR , OAS , RIO Group, Decolonization Committee C24, MERCOSUR calls, etc.) the future the conditiones will be different.

    May 28th, 2011 - 02:55 pm 0
  • GeoffWard

    thanks for trying this in english,
    but, bearing in mind that there is only a defunct entity called the Rio Group, and all these organisations respect international law, what do you think these different conditions will be?

    May 28th, 2011 - 04:57 pm 0
  • so_far

    In a simple way, I think UK can now sit down and negotiate an honorable withdrawal of South America in a position of advantage. In return, which today requested all organizations mentioned is that the conditions are fair, just and mutually beneficial for everybody.
    However, it appears that the UK wishes to maintain the status quo which will become increasingly untenable.

    Glad to read that you recognise that these organisations respect international law (UNASUR, UN, C24, etc.) but unfortunately the world knows that the United Kingdom on the other hand does not obey international law and takes advantage of its position in the Security Council.

    In the not too distant future, the transition in the South Atlantic will be mandatory (no doubts about it) , and in this context the conditions of withdrawal will not be profitable at all for the UK.

    The details I leave to your imagination Geo. Many just feel that now is a good moment for go home with a few pounds.

    May 28th, 2011 - 06:59 pm 0
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