Closing Plenary Session
Laying the Foundations for a Promising Decade in Latin America
High commodity prices, favourable financial conditions and the hard-won economic reforms of the 1990s are boosting regional economic growth to an average of 5% per year, with low inflation and strong current account surpluses. Between 2002 and 2006, 15 million households in the region -- close to 10% of the population -- ceased to be poor. Following this trend, analysts predict that by 2010 the majority of households in the region might become middle-class, with access to modern credit and savings products. Yet investment levels as a percentage of GDP remain low, employment growth is lagging behind GDP growth and income distribution must still be drastically improved.
1) What reforms are urgently needed to make growth sustainable and to improve income distribution?
2) How can investment, which creates more jobs, be increased?
3) How can business become an even more powerful force for economic development?
Oscar Arias SÃ¡nchez, President of Costa Rica
Felipe CalderÃ³n, President of Mexico
Alvaro Uribe Velez, President of Colombia
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
Ricardo Hausmann, Director, Center for International Development, and Professor of the Practice of Economic Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA