“Latin America Motor for World Economic Recovery” from HispanicBusiness.com
(Modern skyline of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Photo: Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times, source: nytimes.com)
Latin America has become one of the motors driving the world’s recovery from multiple economic crises, Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), said here on Friday.
“This region managed to defeat hyperinflation and reduce poverty,” Moreno told a meeting of business leaders on the sidelines of the Sixth Summit of the Americas. “In addition, it represents 14 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. And seven of the world’s top importers of manufactured goods are in Latin America.”
The meeting was attended by representatives of some 500 major companies in Latin America. A main source of multilateral financing in Latin America, the IADB supports efforts by countries in the region to reduce poverty and inequality and achieve sustainable development.
According to Moreno, Latin America is keeping its annual growth rate steady at around 14 percent and could double its per capita income by 2030, reducing poverty to just 10 percent of the regional population.
“We are facing a new middle class which will represent some 500 million people with spending power by 2030,” he added.
Meanwhile, Latin America also faces a number of challenges to fully tap its economic potential, noted Moreno, citing infrastructure as a major challenge.
“The first step is to connect up the value chains with communications and transport links, and to do so fairly,” Moreno said.
Intra-regional trade, which currently only accounts for some 19 percent of Latin America’s total trade volume, also needs to be further boosted, added the IADB chief, pointing to the fact that Asia boasts an intra-regional trade ratio of 40 percent.
The Sixth Summit of the Americas, hosted by Colombia’s Caribbean resort city of Cartagena, brings together leaders of 33 countries in the Western Hemisphere to discuss common policy issues and regional challenges. The leaders’ meetings will take place on Saturday and Sunday.