2010s will be Latin America, Caribbean decade
IDB president predicts in new book:
A new book released here by the head of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has argued the 2010s will be the "decade of Latin America and the Caribbean".
In his book, The decade of Latin America and the Caribbean: A real opportunity, IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno argued that, in the coming years, the region's recent gains will be "locked in and the average citizen will be more prosperous than ever before in the history of the hemisphere".
In practical terms, Moreno suggested that if average growth rates remain close to five per cent per year — as has been the case recently — per capita income could double by 2025.
And in its foreword, United States Secretary of State Hilary Clinton described the book as a roadmap for continued progress and a blueprint for the decade, saying Latin America and the Caribbean holds the "power of proximity" in US foreign policy.
The IDB president said such a jump would significantly reduce income inequality "and, hopefully, eradicate once and for all the extreme poverty that still affects one in eight people in Latin America and the Caribbean".
Clinton said the book "addresses both our greatest opportunities and our most acute challenges, from strengthening education, encouraging innovation, and promoting universal opportunity to bolstering democratic institutions and fostering clean growth — what he calls the long list of unfinished business," she said
Moreno has called for a new way of looking at Latin America and the Caribbean, with a perspective that emphasises the region's strengths without neglecting its weaknesses.
He urged that this new look focus on opportunities without ignoring risks
The view of this being the decade of the region, he added, has grown out of dialogues with his colleagues on the executive board of the Washington-based IDB, its professional staff, and high-level officials, businesspeople and academics in the Americas and in other regions he has visited as IDB chief.
"This forecast, notwithstanding, we need to be clear that success is not guaranteed, the conditions in the countries of the region are not homogeneous, and public policies must take into account the distinctive features of each economy," he said. —CMC