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OECD Regional Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean

 

‌In today’s increasingly complex international environment, there is a growing awareness in Latin America and the Caribbean that better policies and structural reforms are needed to ensure higher rates of growth and sustain‌ economic and social development. In January 2016, OECD members decided to strengthen co-operation with the region through the creation of an OECD LAC Regional Programme, which was launched on 1 June 2016 at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris, under the Chairmanship of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet (click here to read President Bachelet's remarks at the Programme launch event) and with remarks from President Ollanta Humala of Peru (read his remarks here) and OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria (read his remarks here).

 

The OECD LAC Regional Programme (EspañolFrançais, Português) aims to support the region in advancing its reform agenda along three key regional priorities: increasing productivity, enhancing social inclusion, and strengthening institutions and governance. It offers a comprehensive approach that:

  • offers a high-level, strategic, whole-of-government policy dialogue
  • promotes further exchanges of best policy practices, and
  • helps to bring in the views, experiences and perspectives of LAC countries into the OECD’s work

 

 

 First Regional Meeting of the OECD LAC Regional Programme at UN ECLAC Headquarters in Santiago, Chile on 13 October 2016

During its inaugural year, the Programme moved quickly into implementation mode, approving a Programmatic Document to guide its substantive work over 2016-2018, and successfully delivering its first high-level event. Keeping productivity, social inclusion and governance as the main framework, the Programme will undertake a number of activities during its first mandate:

Flagships publications and high-level meetings:

    • Ministerial Meeting on Productivity was held from 5-6 December 2016, hosted by Chile and co-organised with the IDB in collaboration with the OECD’s Global Forum on Productivity. High level meetings on social inclusion and governance will take place in Asunción, Paraguay in 2017 and Lima, Peru in 2018, respectively.
    • The annual flagship publication Latin American Economic Outlook (LEO), already in its 10th edition, will continue to contribute its in-depth analysis of economic and social development in Latin America. The latest edition explores youth, skills and entrepreneurship.
    • The annual International Economic Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean, co-organised with the IDB and French Ministry of Economy and Finance, will contribute to the Programme as a space for annual high-level policy debate. 

Supporting policy reform in specific areas: The Programme has selected nine policy areas, covering topics such as education, innovation, investment, gender, integrity, and others, in recognition that productivity, social inclusion and governance are multi-faceted challenges. Programme activities are intended to bring and adapt the OECD working methods of production of comparable statistics, policy assessment, policy dialogue, and policy advice to the region.

 

Sub-regional Activities: Recognising the heterogeneity of the region, the Programme is developing sub-regional initiatives, with an emphasis on Central America and the Caribbean, in order to better tailor its policy advice and support. On 29 June, the Consejo de Ministros para la Integración Económica (COMIECO) formalised the creation of the OECD Central American Initiative in the framework of the OECD LAC Regional Programme. The Initiative has as an overall objective to support the region’s economic integration process via four priority areas: 1) global and regional value chains; 2) strengthening the role of the services sector and SMES; 3) improving the institutional design of the economic integration process; and 4) advancing international regulatory co-operation within the sub-region. Activities in suport of these four priorities will be undertaken in close co-operation with the COMIECO and the Secretary of Economic Integration of Central America (SIECA).

 

Statistics: While many LAC countries are already included in OECD statistical datasets, the Programme will seek to expand this coverage and make it more readily available. A new OECD LAC statistics portal has already been developed for this purpose. In addition, the OECD in collaboration with ECLAC launched the How’s Life in Latin America? Initiative to develop wellbeing indicators for the LAC region, building on the OECD Better Life Index.

 

2016 International Conference/Ministerial Meeting on Productivity and Inclusive Growth in Latin America:

 

Latest OECD LAC Regional Programme Publication:

This publication was developed by the OECD and the IDB, in collaboration with the OECD Global Forum on Productivity, to support the discussions of the OECD Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Programme’s Ministerial Meeting on Productivity and Inclusive Growth, held in Santiago, Chile, on 5-6 December 2016.
 
The OECD and IDB analysis included in this publication highlights that to reignite growth and keep the momentum of social progress, governments in Latin America must focus on boosting productivity through the empowerment of all workers with skills and technology and the unleashing of innovation and entrepreneurial dynamism. The publication portrays the situation of many Latin American countries, discusses best practices, and informs the debate on future trends in Latin America towards higher productivity and more inclusive growth.