13 November 2006 20:25 [Source: ICIS news]
RIO DE JANEIRO (ICIS news)--The burgeoning economic strength in Latin America will give the region an opportunity to implement sustainable growth plans, a political consultant told a meeting of chemical industry executives on Monday.
“Major challenges ahead include strengthening and deepening structural reforms, continuing responsible macroeconomic policies, improving productivity of the labour force and adapting to technological change,” said Roberto Zahler, consultant with Chile-based Zahler. “The chance to do this is now, in a time of economic strength.”
The comment came at the annual meeting of the Asociacion Petroquim y Quimica Latinoamericana (APLA) in Rio de Janeiro.
Growth in Latin America gross domestic product (GDP) has averaged 4-5% since 2000 after growing at 3.2% in the 1990s and 1.8% in the 1980s, according to Zahler.
“Challenges still exist, but Latin America’s capacity to adapt to a changing environment has increased,” said Zahler.
The balance of payments has improved, inflation has been tamed and exports have doubled to about $600bn in 2006 from 1996 levels, he said.
Despite all the improvement, most countries have had growth slower than the US, Zahler noted.
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