AS the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) prepares to hold its annual meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay, next week, president Luis Alberto Moreno has warned of looming challenges for the Caribbean and Latin America despite continuing growth.
“Every annual meeting is an opportunity for the IDB and its partners to closely examine together the economic and social challenges we face in the region. Latin America and the Caribbean have performed very well over the past few years, and our ability to overcome external shocks has improved,” said Moreno in an interview here yesterday.
“However, we face multiple challenges in areas such as competitiveness and productivity, education, public security, infrastructure and climate change,” he added
Moreno said in the midst of a “difficult international economic environment”, the region has performed well, stating that although growth has slowed, it still remains “robust”.
He said the region grew 4.3 per cent in 2011, with 3.6 per cent growth projected for this year.
“It is remarkable the way the economic growth of recent years has been accompanied by significant progress in social areas and in employment,” the IDB president said.
“Obviously, the economic outlook [for the region] is influenced by the performance of the global economy,” he added. “We realise the region is not immune to what happens in the world, and we are closely watching developments in the European, US, and Chinese economies.”
In this climate of “complex conditions”, Moreno pointed to a number of achievements for the region, with positive trends in social and economic indicators.
“The number of poor people in extreme poverty has fallen to record lows. We have a burgeoning middle class in our countries. Our public accounts are strong, especially when compared with developed countries,” he added.