Trade Policy Development > United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC)

Policy-making and policy implementation assistance

In order to assist in policy-making and policy implementation, UNECLAC provides information and disseminates knowledge among officials of member countries, experts, NGOs, students, members of the private sector and other civil society institutions on the current trade trends and their possible repercussions on Latin American and Caribbean countries.

This service contributes to the analysis of the trade effects of different events in the areas of international economy, trade negotiations, and globalization of production, as well as the effects of the implementation of subregional agreements in Latin America and the negotiations at the WTO.

The service is provided through seminars, workshops and direct technical assistance. Inputs used are individual expertise, training, seminars, workshops, conferences, group discussions and any educational course delivered to a group (on-site or in-house), technical missions, expert consultations, specialized advice, investigations, analysis, diagnostic studies, surveys, access to databases, and reference guides.

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2010 - 2011

Research, Analysis and Dissemination

During the biennium the subprogramme organized its work around three main subject areas: (a) economic and commercial trends in Latin American international relations; (b) Internationalization Strategies for Latin American and Caribbean countries with emphasis on competitivity, negotiation and administration of trade agreements; and (c) regional integration and cooperation; trade and climate change and promotion of positive linkages between trade and poverty and trade and gender equality.

During the last quarter of 2011 the flagship publication of the subprogramme: Latin America in the World Economy 2010-2011, which by itself reflects and defines the work of the Subprogramme, was presented to the press. Individuals representing universities (44%) and governments (12%) are the most demanding users of the flagship, while university students (27%) and researchers , scientist and teachers (23%) are the mainly profession of the downloader’s. Different editions of this flagship publication has been downloaded more than 300.000 times during the biennium, with 96% of its readers considering the publication as good, very good or excellent, proving the relevance of the publication for the region.

With regard to capacity building for regional stakeholders the work of the Subprogramme has been highly recognized by stakeholders of the region as evidenced by the impressive increase in the number of downloads to approximately 4 million in 2010-2011. During the first eleven months of the biennium, the monthly average of downloads was 128,415, while in same period of the second year of the biennium reached 203,924, indicating almost 59% of increase. Invitations received by the staffs to seminars, conferences, workshops and meeting, reached de number of 68 events, mainly to discuss topics related to trade relations between Latin America and the Caribbean and China, the European Union, the US, India and other, Trade and Climate Change, LAIA development , trade and small and medium enterprises, the increase in food prices and its effects in the region, multilatinas, etc. that evidence the work of the division in respect to International insertion strategies, with emphasis on competitiveness, negotiating and administering trade agreements, regional integration and cooperation, trade and environmental sustainability and trade assistance for poverty reduction.

Among the main outputs of the division, besides the annual flagship publication, it is important to mention some publications which have been significant to the recent evolution of regional debate on integration and the role of the region in the global economy. One such publication was the report on “Opportunities for Convergence and Regional Cooperation” which was presented at the High-Level Summit of Latin America and the Caribbean in Cancun, Mexico in February of 2010. Besides this document, there are many other publications that have been produced during the biennium with the objective of analyzing the regional situation, among them: “Invertir en Integración. Los retornos de la complementariedad entre hardware y software” a joint document prepared by the IDB, World Bank and ECLAC for the Fourth Meeting of Ministers of Finance of America and the Caribbean, Calgary, Canada, March 26, 2011; "Modelling Public Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean” a joint publication between ECLAC and the Inter- Development Bank (IDB), which includes a selection of studies on a variety of topics based on comparable methodologies; “Temas controversiales en negociaciones comerciales Norte Sur” which is a contribution to the discussion by ECLAC on the interaction between North-South trade agreements and public policy in the light of the Latin American and the Caribbean experience.

Furthermore, the Subprogramme was requested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of Argentina to prepare a report on relations between Latin America and Asia to be presented to the V Ministerial Meeting of the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) which unites 16 Asian and 18 Latin American countries and by the Pro-Tempore Secretary of the Rio Group to prepare three reports on relations with ASEAN, Africa and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Many elements allow for a conclusion that the scope of action of the Subprogramme is ample, but perhaps the most important is represented by the visit to ECLAC of the Vice-President of the Popular Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping, and the presentation he made to a high level auditorium. Most of the opinions expressed in his speech were reflected in the document that the Subprogramme had prepared for the occasion. Mr. Jinping stated clearly that “China is willing to work with the nations of the region to increase mutual exports of high value-added products, expand trade and optimize the business structure”, a position that has been defended by the publications of the Subprogramme, including the document People's Republic of China and Latin America and the Caribbean. Ushering in a new era in the economic and trade relationship, presented at the occasion.

Also in this regard, the Division has been very active in analyzing and promoting regional relations with other regions, as evidenced by the publications that describe recent trends in investment and trade relations between Latin America and other parties, as well as advancing proposals for improving such relations. As an example the division prepared the documents “El Arco del Paccífico Latinoamericano: construyendo caminos de complementación e integración con Asia”, “India and Latin America and the Caribbean. Opportunities and challenges in trade and investment relations” and specially, the report” En busca de una asociación renovada entre América Latina y el Caribe y la Unión Europea” as part of the preparatory work for the VII European Union- Latin America Summit that will be carried out in Santiago in 2012. In only one month this document reached over 25000 downloads from ECLAC website, which evidence the interest generated by the publication. The Subprogramme also prepared a document on the occasion of the presidential visit of Mr. Barack Obama to Latin America in March 2011: The United States and Latin America and the Caribbean Highlights of Economics Trade.