ECLAC Special Conference Discusses Ways to Ensure Economic Recovery and Growth in Latin America and Caribbean

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ECLAC special conference discusses ways to ensure economic recovery and growth in Latin America and Caribbean

Ministers, high-level officials andtechnical experts from more than 40 countries participated in a five-day (1923 January 1987) special conference of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Mexico City which considered ways to overcome the economic crisis in the region and strengthen its development.

Secretary-General Javier Perez deCuellar, addressing the conference on 22 January, said that for the region as a whole, per capita gross domestic product at the end of 1986 was barely up to the 1978 level. "An entire decade has been lost', he declared.

Notwithstanding progress made inrecent years in the developed economies with regard both to growth and to the reduction of inflation, "there are serious threats which may prevent the orderly expansion of the international economy from continuing at a sustained pace', he said.

Needed were measures to correctthe imbalances that exist, particularly in the balance of payments, and the reduction of real interest rates, and greater stability of exchange rates and of the monetary situation as a whole.

Emphasizing that an expanding andstable international economic climate was a prerequisite for increasing growth rates in the developing world, he called on the major industrialized countries to assume their "special responsibility' in that regard. It could be assumed that reasonably dynamic growth of the major industrialized economies would necessarily spread to other economies.

Major structural changes seemed tobe occurring in the world economy to the detriment of commodities-- foodstuffs, minerals, even hydrocarbons --that make up the bulk of the developing world's exports.

He noted the adverse effect ofdepressed commodities prices and increased protectionist trends on exporters in developing countries, and expressed hope that the forthcoming negotiations of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) would take into account the special needs of the developing economies. …

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