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Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Economy 2011-2012

Continuing Crisis in the Centre and New Opportunities for Developing Economies

image of Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Economy 2011-2012
The 2011-2012 edition focuses on the theme of continuing crisis in the centre and new opportunities for developing economies. Chapter I examines the difficult international economic situation and the outlook for the rest of the decade. Chapter II takes stock of the boom in commodity prices that began around 2003 and its evolving impact on the value of the region’s exports, drawing particular attention to the growing role of developing Asia, especially China, as a destination for commodity exports from Latin America and the Caribbean. Chapter III looks at recent performance and the short-term outlook for trade and economic integration in the region. It analyses foreign trade trends in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2011 and 2012 by main trading partner and category of product for the region overall and for the subregions. Chapter IV examines the international integration of Latin America and the Caribbean in relation to the trends discussed in the rest of the document.

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The global economic outlook and the challenges it poses for the international integration of Latin America and the Caribbean

As explained in chapter I, prospects for the global economy for the remainder of the decade point to several years of slow growth in the industrialized countries. Such a scenario reinforces the long-term trend towards a growing contribution by the developing economies to global economic variables. Another trend that is rearranging the international production and trade map is the geographical fragmentation of production, which is increasingly structured in value chains. These are characterized by substantial flows of trade in intermediate goods and services and of foreign direct investment. Variables such as physical and services infrastructure, connectivity and logistics are essential for this production mode to work smoothly.

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