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Date Published: 
October, 2009
Lead Researcher(s): 
Thematic Area: 

In response to changes in the multilateral trading system in the 1990’s, the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region revitalized existing Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) and signed new ones. Through the removal of market distorting trade obstacles, RTAs should allow countries to achieve a higher level of welfare by specializing in production in which they enjoy comparative advantage, and by taking advantage of the technological inflows facilitated by trade and larger scale production. The growth of China and India also hold great potential for the export of goods and services from the LAC region, as these two countries are amongst the top ten exporters and importers of tradable services. The Asian countries have shown unprecedented dynamism in forming strategic alliances within LAC countries, which has significant implications for regional growth and development. Here, we provide an assessment of the trading relationships within LAC and the economic potential for trading with emerging economies.