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A passport for integration

Stable, sensible, and consistent economic policy is the key to achieving trade integration, according to a new study by Argentina’s Secretary of Trade and International Economic Relations, Martin Redrado.

Redrado, who has been implementing a new trade policy in his country the last two years, said two tools are vital to achieving better development standards. The first is a trade negotiation strategy based on a pragmatic “country by country, product by product” approach, and the second is a focus on competitive sectors and attractive markets. Redrado made his remarks while presenting his study A New Approach to Trade Development in Latin America along with co-author Hernán Lacunza at IDB headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The study presents the export model as a valid alternative for Latin America, with lessons drawn from international experience and with particular attention to Chile and Mexico. Following a precipitous decline in GDP in 1982-83, Chile doubled its exports between 1985 and 1989, launching two nearly decades of sustained growth. Mexico’s turn came between 1995 and 2000. Redrado and Lacunza found out that scarcely five years after its dire “tequila” crisis, the country entered the select ranks of “investment-grade” countries. “International integration needs to become a national goal if you want results such as these,” he said.

Besides offering conclusions and making policy recommendations for more effective trade approach by Latin American countries, the study gives an account of the consensus building initiative that is allowing agreement between government, business, academia and civil society as a basis for long term trade policy in Argentina.

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