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Foreword

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This first edition of International Trade Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean, which is the continuation of Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Economy with a new title, covers 2017 and contains three chapters. The first chapter describes the current international context and the recovery of trade in the region. Despite the recent upturn in global growth, the medium-term international context remains uncertain, with unanswered questions regarding the sustainability of the recovery of the world economy, challenges to traditional trade posed by the digital revolution and the emergence of political movements in developed countries. In turn, these factors could impact policies to promote investment and productive diversification. In that uncertain context, the foreign trade of Latin America and the Caribbean is showing signs of recovery after four years of negative performance between 2012 and 2016. The value of the region’s goods exports is projected to increase by 10% in 2017. That increase comprises a 6.5% rise in prices and 3.5% growth in volumes. After four years of falling value, the region’s imports are also recovering and are projected to grow by 7.0% in 2017. That improvement derives mainly from a 5.0% rise in import basket prices, together with a slight increase (2.0%) in import volumes.

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