Monday 30 June 2014
Pierre Mendès France Conference Centre
Ministry of the Economy, Industrial Renewal and the Digital Sector, Paris
Speech by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD
Summary Record of the LAC Forum 2014
After a decade of relatively strong growth, Latin America’s economic prospects are becoming more convoluted in response to three main factors: declining trade, moderation of commodity prices and increasing reservation surrounding external monetary and financing conditions, as a consequence of the euro area’s weak performance, the slowdown in China’s economy and uncertainty over U.S. monetary policy. The rise in the prices of the commodity exports has led Latin American economies to substitute locally manufactured goods with imports, and contributed to a certain decrease in the region’s productive capacities. In this context, knowledge-based industrial policies could be a key factor in driving economic modernisation and permitting Latin American and Caribbean countries to move up in value chains and capture increased value added. Improved logistics performance would help bolster structural change in the region and represent an opportunity for the insertion of the continent into the global trade: in Latin America, 57% of the exports consist of perishable or logistics-intensive products, compared to the OECD average of 17%.
After providing an overview of the economic outlook of the region, the Forum asked how governments and private sector actors can promote logistics, infrastructure and industrial policies as instruments for regional and global economic integration, inclusive growth and structural transformation in the region.
The Forum is the annual meeting of policy-makers, economists, researchers and high-level representatives from the private sector, working on and with Latin American. Every year, more than 400 participants gather to discuss the performance of Latin American and Caribbean economies and the major challenges faced by the continent. It is co-organised since 2009 by the Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the French Ministry for the Economy, Industrial Renewal and the Digital Sector.