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Teaching activity

IMF suggests Latin America could develop faster with more international trade openness (Nov 2023)

Elizabeth Veal

23rd November 2023

According to the IMF, Latin America can unlock its economic potential by boosting international trade through improved infrastructure and better development strategies.

Latin America and the Caribbean have untapped potential in international trade due to inadequate infrastructure and trade barriers. The region's trade openness is held back by poor customs procedures and high tariff barriers. Improving infrastructure could lead to a 30% increase in exports, boosting GDP by up to 7%. Prioritising the removal of key bottlenecks, attracting private investment, and capitalising on the transition to greener energy could enhance Latin America's role in global trade, particularly in critical minerals. The IMF report argues that policymakers must focus on reducing trade barriers, upgrading infrastructure, and fostering investment for a more robust trade strategy.

How Latin America Can Use Trade to Boost Growth (

1 Explain briefly how reducing trade barriers can increased economic growth.

2 How does the ‘infrastructure gap’ hold back economic development in Latin America?

3 Using the article and your own knowledge, what development strategies could be used to promote growth and development in Latin America?

Download our suggested answers for this resource here

Elizabeth Veal

Liz has taught Economics for over 25 years, including several years as Head of Economics at leading schools.

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