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Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Economy 2013

A Sluggish Post-crisis, Mega Trade Negotiations and Value Chains - Scope for Regional Action

image of Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Economy 2013
The 2013 edition of this publication reviews the main features of a persistently weak global economy and world trade and then turns to global and regional trade trends and prospects. The publication considers the main changes in the organization of production and global trade associated with international production networks, which are at the heart of current mega-regional negotiations. It looks at how the region's countries are positioned in international production networks and value chains. It analyzes the main factors underpinning participation in production networks and value chains, as well as the implications they have for integration.

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Latin America and the Caribbean in value chains

Global trade is increasingly being organized around what have been termed "global value chains". The available evidence on global value chains indicates that they work chiefly on a regional basis, since they are concentrated in North America, the European Union and East Asia, with focal points in the United States, Germany and Japan and China, respectively. This trend towards regionalization is due in a large part to the proximity between countries in a given region —which translates into lower freight costs— and the progressive elimination of barriers to cross-border trade under regional integration agreements. This trend towards geographical fragmentation of production creates challenges for the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, which have thus far found it difficult to carve a niche for themselves in global value chains.

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