Friday 5 June, Paris
The 7th edition of the International Economic Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean provides the opportunity to discuss challenges and to share solutions regarding sustainable economic development in the region. The economic slowdown that began in Latin America in 2010 is continuing. According to preliminary data, the region’s economy grew slightly over 1% in 2014 (compared with 2.5% in 2013 and 2.9% in 2012), less than the OECD average for the first time in ten years. In 2015, growth is expected to reach a feeble 1%. These developments will be driven by the less favourable international climate of the past five years, due to lower commodity prices (especially for oil, metals and minerals), and the economic slowdown in China. Also of note is the rising cost of external financing and more restrained capital inflow prospects due to the tightening of US monetary policy.
Education, skills and innovation are key areas to enable more Latin American countries to escape the middle-income trap and strengthen the region’s emerging middle class. Improvements to the stock and quality of education and skills, together with a stable macroeconomic context and an innovation-friendly environment, determine countries’ capacity to direct their growth models towards higher value-added activities. Investment in human capital drives long-term economic growth and is an essential part of any inclusive-growth strategy. It is therefore necessary to improve equality of opportunity and social mobility by limiting the effect of people’s socio-economic background and informal employment on their access to high-quality education at all levels. Efforts to improve education and skills will only raise labour productivity, create high-quality jobs and reduce the size of the informal economy if they are supported by greater innovation. After debating on the appropriate reforms for a sustainable growth model in the region, the Forum will ask how governments can promote innovation, and offer suitable education for a better skilled labour force.
Economic outlook and future prospects for Latin America and the Caribbean
Innovation, education and skills at the core of a new-fangled growth model
Environmental and climate issues as levers for sustainable growth
More information: DEV.LacForum@oecd.org