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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Cluster Report explores opportunities for trade integration in the Latin America and the Caribbean region. It finds that the region can reap significant growth benefits from further trade integration. With trade integration below that of other regions, there is scope for Latin America and the Caribbean to increase trade as an engine of growth to help offset the weaker economic outlook without damage to overall income inequality. There is potential to enhance both inter- and intraregional trade integration, but renewed political momentum within the region in support of greater trade openness could do much to further intraregional trade integration in particular.
Mr. Simon Cueva, Mr. Stephen Tokarick, Mr. Erik J. Lundback, Ms. Janet Gale Stotsky, and Mr. Samuel P. Itam


This paper focuses on the independent states that are full members of the Caribbean Community. It provides background information on recent developments in the Caribbean region and lays out the principal policy issues that countries will need to address in the period ahead. The Caribbean countries face several common problems and must deal with similar economic policy issues. Consequently, concentrating on the regional perspective permits a comparison of the individual responses to similar problems. The regional view throws light on the countries' movement toward convergence. The economic prospects for the region are generally satisfactory over the medium term, but the projections depend importantly on the resolve of governments to pursue appropriate policies, as well as favorable developments in the rest of the world. The relatively favorable outlook for the region is not without risks, such as a slowdown in growth in the major trading partner countries or a term of trade shock.