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International Trade Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean 2018

Stronger Regional Integration Urgent to Counter Impact of Trade Conflicts

image of International Trade Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean 2018

This edition of International Trade Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean covers 2018 and is divided into three chapters. Chapter I analyses the impact of divergent global growth and trade tensions on trade in the region. Chapter II examines the share of Latin America and the Caribbean in global trade in minerals and metals. The region overall is a net exporter in this sector; however, given the typically low level of processing of its exports, it has the largest share in this category of primary products of all regions in the world. Finally, Chapter III examines whether cross-border e-commerce has the potential to galvanize and diversify exports from the region. Cross-border e-commerce refers to transactions for products and services that are ordered online, platform-enabled, or delivered online.

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The region in the global minerals and metals trade

The Latin America region is among the world’s most richly endowed with minerals and metals. As a result, this sector has historically accounted for a large share of the export baskets of a number of the region’s countries, particularly in South America. Notwithstanding its undeniable contribution to currency earnings and fiscal revenues, among other benefits, this type of specialization poses a variety of public policy challenges. They include the need to mitigate countries’ vulnerability to price fluctuations, add value to the sector’s products, enhance linkages with local suppliers of goods and services and reduce the negative socio-environmental impacts generally associated with extractive activities.

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