Regional Economic Links in Latin America: lessons from Asia and challenges from the regional links of other BRICS
Since the early 1950s Latin American countries have made systematic efforts to foster regional transactions. Nevertheless, the indicators of relative importance of regional trade remain well below the corresponding figures in other regions. This paper argues that a process of integration should take into account the differences between what can be achieved by negotiating with closer neighbours and with geographically distant partners. Also, at present there is an increasing competition from Asian goods, which have negatively affected Latin American producers. Among the lessons from the recent Asian experience are the economic links among countries that have helped to improve competitiveness as well as to foster the degree of convergence of the GDP growth rates of the participating countries.
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