New US-Caribbean opportunities identified
A publication by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean points to investment and trade opportunities.
WASHINGTON, United States, Thursday March 24, 2011 – The United States remains the main individual trading partner for Latin America and the Caribbean and conditions are now right to launch a new era of economic and trade cooperation between the United States and the region, according to a report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
The publication, ‘The United States and Latin America and the Caribbean: highlights of economics and trade’, was produced for the visit of the US President, Barack Obama, to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador. It describes recent trends in investment and trade relations between the parties, as well as advancing proposals for a relaunch of such relations.
The United States' share of foreign trade with Latin America and the Caribbean has decreased over the past decade. In terms of exports, there was a fall from 59.7 percent in 2000 to 40.1 percent in 2009, while in terms of imports there was a drop from 49.3 percent to 31.2 percent in the same period.
"The current tour of President Barack Obama to three Latin American countries offers an unmissable opportunity to renew hemispheric relations," stated the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena, in the foreword to the document.
“What the region expects from the United States are proposals for a strategic dialogue and new initiatives in the field of trade and investment in order to strengthen mutual cooperation.”
Despite Latin American and Caribbean economic buoyancy over the past decade, the United States has not had a comprehensive trade strategy for the region in recent years, according to the ECLAC report.
According to the study, new cooperation relations should include the speedy approval of pending free-trade agreements and the renewal of preferences for Andean and other regional countries.
There should also be a joint commitment to work towards concluding the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round in 2011, opening a strategic dialogue between the United States and the region's countries that are part of the Group of 20 (G-20) and establishing an integrated economic cooperation programme, it said.
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