Latin America and the Caribbean is going through a difficult economic, political and social phase but has the opportunity to change its development trajectory towards more inclusive growth, with more sustainable investment and consumption patterns, Alicia B�rcena, the executive eecretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac) said during the XX Annual Conference of CAF � Development Bank of Latin America.
The senior United Nations official added that the macroeconomic toolbox must be expanded to include fiscal policies that put greater emphasis on tax evasion and avoidance, which in the region represents 6.7 per cent of regional gross domestic product (GDP). In addition, she indicated that the world needs a major impetus based on the coordinated expansion of external demand, which should involve greater financial and monetary stimulus to reactivate economies globally.
"In this context, a big environmental push should also be promoted to ensure technology reaches all levels of the economy and society," B�rcena said as one of the main speakers on the panel "Is Latin America at a Turning Point? Future Development Challenges," which was held in Washington in the framework of the CAF meeting.
On that occasion, B�rcena also insisted on the importance of the region joining the processes of technological convergence that are taking place in the world to jump-start production and embracing the challenge of carrying out progressive structural change, with sustainability and equality at the centre.
"Latin America and the Caribbean participates actively in the technology of consumption, but not of production. It is imperative that we incorporate ourselves into the fourth industrial revolution that is under way as actors, rather than spectators," B�rcena indicated at the panel that was moderated by Enrique Garc�a, president of CAF.
The other speakers included Enrique V. Iglesias, the former Ibero-American Secretary General; Augusto de la Torre, the World Bank's Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean; Alejandro Werner, Director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF); and Alejandro Foxley, President and Executive Director of the Corporation for Latin American Studies (CIEPLAN) and a former Chilean Finance Minister.