Issue 10, August 2009
|Prospects for the Future|
All of Latin America struggles with the dilemma of attempting to both foster economic growth and eradicate poverty. Most have found it hard to do both. More economic cooperation would likely help the region as a whole as well as the development of individual countries, as would collaboration on climate and energy policies. Improved regional governance and anti-corruption efforts also hold promise. Institutions for such collaboration do exist, from the OAS to the Inter-American Development Bank to numerous other Hemispheric organizations.
How likely is Latin American integration? The notion of excluding the United States and Canada, and instead forming a Latin American regional trading bloc, has had little success. Neither Mexico nor Central America (covered by the Central American Free Trade Agreement, CAFTA), nor countries such as Colombia and Panama which have free trade agreements with the US pending, are likely to move in this direction as long as their economies remain dependent on American markets. Ties to the US are a major sticking point, as are bitter internal rivalries within Latin America.