Pandemic, an Opportunity to Rearticulate Integration in Latin America

Deputy Director General of the Center for World Economic Research (CIEM), Jourdy James: “Integration is now much more necessary than ever”.
Deputy Director General of the Center for World Economic Research (CIEM), Jourdy James: “Integration is now much more necessary than ever”. Photo: Prensa Latina.

Havana, Cuba: The Covid-19 pandemic is today an opportunity to rearticulate the integration and cooperation of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, especially in health matters, Cuban specialists in economics warn.

Integration is now much more necessary than ever due to the deep economic and social deterioration of the region at the arrival of this disease, which also generated the fragmentation of the integrationist blocs, according to deputy director general of the World Economy Research Center (CIEM ), Jourdy James.

“In Latin America with the arrival of the pandemic there was an increase in nationalisms, precisely when integration was being redefined, but now it is urgent to face the consequences of the current crisis and undertake recovery,” she said.

The CIEM expert highlighted that in the region there is a rise of the left, favorable to direct initiatives and reactivates projects in health, economic and energy matters, after 2020 that meant the worst in 120 years, with a fall of 7.7 Percent of the Gross Domestic Product.

Likewise, the pandemic meant for the Latin American economy the loss of more than one trillion (million million) dollars, a low growth potential, 44 million unemployed, the increase in poverty by 20 million people, eight million of them destitute, and a debt doomed to a new crisis.

In this regard, the ICES official warned about the importance and need for cooperation since the way out of the current economic crisis is looming very uneven, and it would be first in those countries with the possibility of capitalizing on an effective solution.

Other ICES specialists reaffirmed that the world is going through a health crisis of great proportions with profound socio-economic implications on a global, regional and local scale, and with great asymmetries that are deepening because they have lengthened the still unfinished recovery, after the recession of 2008- 2009.

They pointed out that production gaps and uncertainty persist because one cannot speak of firm projections of a quick exit in a deeply polarized world, which is reflected even in the distribution of vaccines monopolized by powerful countries.

It is the greatest crisis after the Great Depression of 1929 to 1933 of the last century, which in 2020 resulted in a drop in world production of 3.5 percent, an abrupt interruption of supply and distribution chains by weak demand, decrease in services, tourism, transportation and remittances.

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