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New study urges the Caribbean to do more to facilitate trade


Posted in: Regional News | 27 October 2014 | 2790

    The Inter-American Development Bank headquarters (IDB) in Washington.
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    The Inter-American Development Bank headquarters (IDB) in Washington.

    WASHINGTON,USA - A new study by the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) is urging Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to do more to facilitate trade in order to boost exports.

    "Three years of sluggish growth in the exports of Latin America and the Caribbean make it urgent to implement policies that facilitate trade," notes the study, entitled "Trade and Integration Monitor 2014".

    It notes that the fall in international demand and in the prices of many basic goods that are exported from the region highlight pre-existing vulnerabilities in the external sector.

    Despite efforts to diversify exports, the study notes that over the past decade, the region's export basket has been concentrated on basic goods and their by-products, making Latin America and the Caribbean vulnerable to fluctuations in price and demand.

    It said that in 2013, the region's exports rose only 0.1 per cent, after having grown 1.2 per cent in 2012.

    The Monitor argues that, given uncertainty in multilateral trade-facilitation talks, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean should implement unilateral reforms and other measures linked to preferential accords in the region so as to stimulate exports.

    Conservative estimates indicate that only 20 per cent of the commitments included in the Agreement on Trade Facilitation negotiated through the World Trade Organization (WTO) have taken force under regional preferential agreements, the report notes.

    It includes a detailed report on recent trade performance indicators for the IDB's 26 borrowing member countries as well as profiles of free trade accords that are in effect.

    The Monitor is part of a series of annual studies that analyse the evolution of Latin American and Caribbean integration within the global trading system using systematised data available in the INTrade data base.

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