Structure, recent developments and prospects of Central American exports

Central America’s role in the world economy is still largely the traditional one of an underdeveloped area located outside of the temperate zone, that is, as supplier of only two or three tropical agricultural commodities to the industrialized countries of Europe, and the United States. For a long time this trade pattern had provided a valuable stimulus to the region’s development. In recent years, however, the relative saturation of the traditional markets for tropical products and the unfavorable trend of prices paid for them have been responsible for a virtual stagnation of Central American export earnings; and while some effort has been made to diversify, excessive dependence on a small number of primary products is likely to remain a serious obstacle to the expansion of exports in the coming years.

Related Subject(s): Economic and Social Development
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