Past Policy Changes Curb Economic Growth
Byline: Hazel Feigenblatt, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A new round of economic reforms is needed to boost growth rates and cut poverty in Latin America following a set of changes enacted in the 1990s, according to regional analysts.
Speakers at a conference titled "A modern vision for Latin America," organized last week by the International Foundation for Liberty and the Cato Institute, agreed that in many countries, some policy changes of the past decade had made social and economic conditions worse. But they insisted that liberal reforms and free markets are not the main problems confronting Latin America.
Manuel Suarez-Mier, senior economist of the Bank of America in Mexico, said many reforms were bad or partially implemented or not done at all and, as a result, little development can be expected.
He said little has been achieved in areas such as a public finance adjustment, tax and budget reform and other areas.
"It is necessary to do a better job in promoting these ideas in those countries and to learn to sell them better," he said.
Former Costa Rica President Miguel Angel Rodriguez said policies must focus on fiscal discipline and tax reforms.
He said it was unfortunate that in some cases poverty even increased, among other problems from the 1990s. …