Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 16th 2017 Contents BG22 | REGIONAL
BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt MARCH 16 • 2017
Deeper integration vital for
growth in Latam, Caribbean
The World Bank Tuesday said
a deeper economic integra-
tion among Latin American
and Caribbean countries
will make the region more
competitive in international
markets and boost long-term growth.
In a new report titled "Better Neighbours:
Toward a Renewal of Economic Integration
in Latin America," the Washington-based
financial institution argues that a renewed
integration strategy that takes advantage of
the complementarities between regional and
global economic integration can contribute
to growth with stability.
It said that this is particularly relevant for
a region that is just coming out of two years
"In today's world, regional economic in-
tegration offers a way forward to reactivate
the economic growth needed for reducing
poverty and boosting shared prosperity," said
Jorge Familiar, World Bank Vice President
for Latin America and the Caribbean.
"A more robust intraregional integration
will make us more competitive in the glob-
al arena. Effective integration will require
investment in infrastructure, connectivity
and logistics, which will offer an additional
boost in economic growth."
Since the 1960s, the region has been
pursuing regional integration, with efforts
intensifying since the mid-1990s.
But the World Bank notes that still, intra-
regional exports in Latin America remain
at a persistent 20 per cent of total exports,
much less than the 60 and 50 per cent in-
traregional exports in the European Union
and East Asia Pacific, respectively.
Therefore, the report proposes an "open
regionalism" that reaps unexploited syner-
gies between regional and global econom-
ic integration, on the premise that pro-
growth integration with the world cannot
be achieved without first strengthening the
region's own neighborhood.
To do so, the report lays out a five-pronged
interdependent strategy including the fur-
ther reduction of the external tariffs.
"This can stimulate local economic activi-
ty, attract foreign investment, enable knowl-
edge-sharing among regional neighbours,
and ultimately facilitate collective entry into
global export markets."
The report also called for deepening
the economic integration between South
America, Central America, the Caribbean,
and Mexico, noting that through new pref-
erential trade agreements (PTAs), these sub
regions can better benefit from their com-
plementarities and obtain additional gains
It said this will be particularly relevant
for small economies when integrating with
The report also called for a harmonisa-
tion of the rules and procedures, noting that
"allowing firms to use materials from other
countries without losing preferential access,
as it tends to happen with rules established
by existing PTAs, can help the region attain
higher gains from these agreements. Harmo-
nising regulatory standards can also help the
region fully capitalise on the already signif-
icant progress toward an integrated energy
grid, it said, urging also that there be efforts
to reduce high trade costs.
"Lack of quality infrastructure and chal-
lenging topography make distance much
costlier to Latin America's trade. The share
of unpaved roads in the region is around 70
per cent, causing land transport to drive up
trade costs. Low port efficiency also makes
the region's connectivity to global maritime
and air transport networks comparatively
weaker and more costly."
The report is also calling for an integration
of labour and capital markets.
"There is room for improving regional ef-
ficiencies through freer migration and cap-
ital flows in Latin America. Labour market
integration across borders can help countries
become more productive and boost growth
through cross-border knowledge transfers.
"The 2011 Mercado Integrado Latino-
americano (MILA) that sought to unite the
stock market exchanges of Colombia, Chile,
Mexico and Peru is also a step in the right
direction, seeking to improve the investment
climate for all. "
The report concludes that in order to be
successful, the region will need to design
and implement these smart but complex
policies to enhance intraregional economic
integration while also lowering barriers to
international trade with the rest of the world.
While it will not be simple, the report
argues that the time is ripe to bring these
efforts to the forefront.
Bahamian national appointed
to top post in tourism
The executive director of the Turks and Caicos Hotel
and Tourism Association (TCHTA), Stacy Cox, has
been appointed as the president of the Caribbean
Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE)
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association
(CHTA) said that Cox, a native of the Bahamas and a
citizen of the Turks and Caicos Islands, was appointed
to the leadership position during board meetings that
preceded CHTA annual Caribbean Travel Marketplace
event in The Bahamas.
CSHAE is an independent organisation aimed at
advancing professional development and strengthen-
ing networking among Caribbean hotel and tourism
Cox has amassed more than 20 years of hospitality
experience in both destinations, CHTA said, noting
that as executive director, she represents the mem-
bership of TCHTA on matters affecting the tourism
and hospitality industry, both locally and interna-
tionally, including advocacy issues and marketing
initiatives, "which help build a sustainable tourism
product through awareness, outreach and educational
"To be elected by my counterparts throughout the
Caribbean for such a role speaks volumes and I am
truly honoured," said Cox.
Links Archive March 15th 2017 March 17th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page