Bazooka fail: Brussels resorts to desperate measures to rescue Euro

Publicado originalmente em 13/03/2016

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The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but it might not be ready for the speed with which the EU is seemingly determined to reach Hades. Brussels may yet fester for years but multiple unresolved crises are unraveling the EU.

On the fiscal front, a touching belief in the ‘magic money tree school of economics’ pervades the deepest recesses of the ‘Euroblob’. Brussels remains a hotbed for the bizarre anachronism that central government delivers growth… Meanwhile, other channels continue to chronicle the real-time demise of Venezuela and wretched poverty of North Korea.

Even as it became clear that EU politicians egging banks to consume as much Eurozone debt as possible was untenable, EU decline was far from assured. However, having foolishly protected banks, the ‘Euroblob’ has endured prolonged continental drift, bereft of coherent leadership. Like all failing empires, a few nations have been subjugated at debt show trials (“pour encourager les autres”) and sentenced to more fiscal penalties, which are simply never going to be repaid.

Multiple false dawns later, perennial presidential claims that recovery is just around the corner have vanished as the brutal realization dawns: this decline looks permanent. The Eurozone economy today is a withered entity, appreciably smaller than in 2008. Meanwhile, Chinese GDP has more than doubled.

The European Central Bank has married the worst of central banking hubris with traditional EU political practice. Thus ECB boss Mario Draghi talks tough without supportive action. Draghi’s “Super Mario” moniker is absurd; even Donkey Kong could have managed the Eurocrisis better.

Draghi’s core failure was classic Euro-political hubris: threaten loudly and the market will eventually realize your words are hollow. Investors are rightly skeptical of an EU which beggars its citizenry in the pursuit of an Imperial fantasy. Worse still, the EU has implemented vast swathes of new regulations which simply leave bankers and investors bewildered.

Under Draghi, the ECB has behaved like the fiscal equivalent of one of those video games. Somewhere in a European financial centre, Super Mario emerges from a limousine brandishing weapons of increasing complexity and claims nothing will stop him from using it to blow a hole in the recessionary forces encircling Europe.

Thus an arsenal – bazookas have been a particular fetish – are displayed, then quietly set back in the trunk of the limousine which screeches off to yet more speaking engagements…

Euro crisis monetary action has played out akin to an unsuspecting individual chancing upon a comatose body. Enthusiasm has given way to anxiety and a vestige of panic as more advanced treatments have singularly failed to ameliorate the patient’s condition.

Fiscally, interest rates have gone negative (the ECB charges banks who entrust (sic?) it with your money). Instead of lending to the real economy, all parties concerned are just panicking – particularly Europe’s savers, sacrificed on the altar of the Euro.

So, provided you ignore any humane response and turn fiscal logic on its head, ECB policy is pretty easy to understand. However, waving a bazooka in a bank and threatening customers if they don’t shop vigorously is, well, somewhat counterproductive.

The ECB is now spending 80 billion Euros ($90 billion) per month buying government and corporate bonds (with a Euro-protectionist twist, only EU company debt is eligible, further discouraging foreign investors).

In other words… Faced with a drought-ridden football field, the ECB is indiscriminately spraying the sun-baked soil with liquidity, creating a sodden muddy mess, not a luscious green pitch ready for a new season.

Markets like confidence. The ECB’s announcement of a 20 billion Euro per month increase last week was greeted as great news for a split second until investors realized… this move was nothing more than desperation!

Thus, the ECB is now spending monthly to bail out banks it ought never to have rescued in the first place, the same amount as has been budgeted for the entire EU innovation centerpiece Horizon 2020 mega-research programme over 7 years.

Cheer up, the worst is yet to come…

Fonte: RT

More on the political trilemma of the global economy

Publicado originalmente em: 11/03/2016

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Martin Sandbu of the Financial Times has a very thoughtful discussion of my globalization trilemma, as it applies to Brexit among other things. Sandbu argues that “thinking critically about Rodrik’s trilemma should lead us to more optimistic conclusions.”

I largely agree with Sandbu’s points, but I thought it would be useful to state some of my reactions in the interest of clarifying the issues. Here are Sandbu’s main points and my take on them.

“First, if anything it is more dilemma than trilemma (as is the more famous macroeconomic trilemma Rodrik takes his inspiration from). Consider this: if economic integration limits a national democracy’s room for manoeuvre, does it limit a national dictatorship’s opportunities any less?”

I think Sandbu’s point is true for some dictatorships, but not all. Today the prevailing worry of progressives is that an oligarchy of financiers, investors, and skilled professionals has captured the polity and is using globalization as a way of imposing its policy priorities. What globalization does for these groups is actually to expand their political opportunities, rather than constrain them. In effect, globalization becomes an instrument for narrowing the scope of what governments can do (in taxation, spending, and regulation) so as to advance the interests of this particular oligarchy.

The defining feature of a democracy is that the electorate can decide on their own path and future, even when it may conflict what a narrowly based, internationally mobile elite want – and that is what hyper-globalization restricts.

“Second, we should beware of conflating economic integration with technocracy. Rodrik does not do this, but most of the British debate does, with the blame heaped (by all sides, it must be said) on Brussels bureaucrats.”

Indeed, but in practice, globalization is used to impose a particular technocratic set of rules serving the interests of particular groups. That it need not do so is a valid point for globalization in general, as long as don’t take it as far as hyper-globalization (see below).

“But let us focus here on whether — as Rodrik and so many others assert — that there is necessarily a loss of democracy when the rules are set internationally while most democratic institutions remain nationally rooted. … There are reasons to doubt that assertion. One is that the scope for national action is larger than is often claimed — even in the supposedly strongest golden straitjacket of them all, Europe’s common currency. … But most importantly, because negotiating rules together is an exercise of national self-determination, not its abrogation.”

With regard to the first objection, it is useful to distinguish between globalization and hyper-globalization. The political trilemma applies full-blown to the latter. As long as we are not trying to eliminate every transaction cost to international trade and investment, there are multiple models of globalization one can imagine, leaving plenty of space for countries to devise their own social and economic arrangements. Sandbu provides the example of non-discrimination in trade versus deeper integration. The closer we get to the latter, the less room countries do have.

The second point, that negotiating global rules is an exercise of national self-determination, requires longer discussion. The point is correct as stated, but I would add that the fact that an international rule is negotiated and accepted by a democratically elected government does not inherently make that rule democratically legitimate.

The optimistic argument has been best formulated by the political scientists Bob Keohane, Steve Macedo and Andy Moravcsik. They point there are various ways in which global rules can enhance democracy — a process that they call “democracy enhancing multilateralism.” Democracies have various mechanisms for restricting the autonomy or the policy space of decision makers. For example, democratically elected parliaments often delegate power to independent or quasi-independent autonomous bodies. Central banks are often independent and there are various other kinds of checks and balances in constitutional democracies. Similarly, global rules can make it easier for national democracies to attain the goals that they pursue even if they entail some restrictions in terms of autonomy. Keohane at al. discuss three specific mechanisms: global rules can enhance democracy by offsetting factions, protecting minority rights, or by enhancing the quality of democratic deliberation.

However, just because globalization can enhance democracy does not mean that it always does so. In fact there are many ways in which global governance works in quite the opposite way from that described by Keohane et al. Anti-dumping rules, for example, augment protectionist interests. Rules on intellectual property rights and copyrights have privileged pharmaceuticals companies and Disney against the general interest. Similarly, there are many ways in which globalization actually harms rather than enhances the quality of democratic deliberation. For example, preferential or multilateral trade agreements are often simply voted up or down in national parliaments with little discussion, simply because they are international agreements. Globalization-enhancing global rules and democracy-enhancing global rules may have some overlap; but they are not one and the same thing.

More broadly, international commitments can be used to tie the hands of governments in both democratically legitimate and illegitimate ways. External discipline can be sought in two different kinds of settings–one of which is much more defensible on the traditional democratic delegation grounds than the other.

Consider first the case where the government faces a “time-inconsistency” problem. It would like to commit to free trade or to fiscal balance, but realizes that over time it will give in to pressure and deviate from what is its optimal policy ex ante. So it chooses to tie its hands through external discipline. This way, when protectionists and big spenders show up at its door, the government says: “sorry, the WTO or the IMF will not let me do it.” Everyone is better off, save for the lobbyists and special interests. This is the good kind of delegation and external discipline.

Now consider the second kind. Here, the government fears not its future self, but its future opponents: the opposition party (or parties). The latter may have different views on economic policy, and if victorious in the next election, may well choose to shift course. Now when the incumbent government enters an international agreement, it does so to tie the hands of its opponents. From an ex-ante welfare standpoint, this strategy has much less to recommend itself. The future government may have better or worse ideas about government policy, and it is not clear that restricting its policy space is a win-win outcome. This kind of external discipline has much less democratic legitimacy because, once again, it privileges one set of interests against others.

The bottom line is that I am somewhat less optimistic than Sandbu on the democratic implications of globalization. But let me stress again that the constraints really bind in the presence of a hyper-globalization/deep-integration model (a la Eurozone). For more limited models of globalization, there are considerably more degrees of freedom.

Fonte: Dani Rodrik´s weblog

 

Encontro da CEPAL propõe ações para reduzir impacto do comércio internacional na mudança climática

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A Comissão Econômica para a América Latina e o Caribe (CEPAL) deu início, nesta segunda-feira (14), ao VII Seminário Internacional anual da agência sobre “pegadas ecológicas”, em Santiago, no Chile. O evento reuniu 15 especialistas da região de atuação da CEPAL e também da Europa com o objetivo de debater as consequências do comércio internacional para as mudanças climáticas.

De acordo com o secretário executivo adjunto da CEPAL, Antonio Prado, os debates ao longo do encontro são “especialmente relevantes para a América Latina e o Caribe, uma vez que alguns de seus principais mercados de exportação se encontram a uma grande distância e, portanto, as emissões associadas ao transporte desses produtos podem ser consideráveis”. Para o dirigente, são necessários mecanismos precisos para quantificar as emissões de gases do efeito estufa vinculadas ao comércio internacional.

Prado destacou que a região não está alheia às mudanças climáticas provocadas por atividades poluentes. Nações caribenhas e centro-americanas já têm sofrido as consequências da crise ambiental com particular intensidade, segundo o secretário.

“Estes impactos são sentidos com maior intensidade nos países em desenvolvimento, que estão menos preparados para se adaptarem a este fenômeno e que experimentam situações como secas persistentes, eventos meteorológicos extremos, o degelo de seus glaciares, a erosão costeira e a acidificação dos oceanos. Tudo isso ameaça sua segurança alimentar e os esforços para erradicar a pobreza e alcançar o desenvolvimento sustentável”, disse.

De acordo com o dirigente, o seminário deverá contribuir para a busca por instrumentos eficazes, que podem reduzir as emissões associadas ao comércio de mercadorias sem, no entanto, recair no “protecionismo verde”.

Fonte: ONU BR

A geopolítica chinesa da ferrovia: dependência e integração

O que está posto para o setor metroferroviário nos acordos com a China é a reafirmação da nossa condição de dependência, com poucas indicações de investimento nesta indústria e o atrelamento da economia brasileira à sua “vocacional” matriz exportadora de commodities.

Há anos a China tenta se estabelecer como uma potência política e econômica na América do Sul. A recente visita de uma delegação econômica chinesa, liderada pelo primeiro ministro Li Keqiang, é a mostra de que eles estão dispostos a capturar o imaginário desenvolvimentista que tem pairado sobre a região nos últimos dez anos. A carteira dos possíveis investimentos é grande e apenas no Brasil foram fechados 35 acordos, com ênfase em infraestrutura.

Com os projetos que foram postos à mesa, a China busca a defesa de seus interesses de expansão econômica e política na região, enquanto os países que recebem os chineses passam por um momento de turbulência econômica, vendo com muito bons olhos os investimentos estrangeiros.

No Brasil, a vinda dos chineses com investimentos para o modal ferroviário foi bastante celebrada em diferentes nichos do governo, tendo como filão principal a intenção de construir uma Ferrovia Transcontinental, ligando o Oceano Atlântico ao Pacífico.

A ferrovia é projetada no território brasileiro para partir de Porto de Açú, no litoral do Rio de Janeiro, e chegar até Boqueirão da Esperança, no estado do Acre, com aproximadamente 4400 Km de extensão. A ligação com o Pacífico é prevista para ser feita no Peru, fato que gerou bastante descontentamento entre os bolivianos, exacerbando as tensões existentes entre os dois países.

O interesse brasileiro quanto à parceria com os chineses no setor metroferroviário objetiva viabilizar economicamente a construção da Ferrovia de Integração Centro-Oeste (FICO), que integraria a Ferrovia Transcontinental.

A ferrovia visa a ligar a região Centro-Norte do País aos principais portos nacionais por meio da Ferrovia Norte-Sul, partindo da cidade de Uruaçú-GO até Vilhena-RO, com 1638 Km de extensão. A conclusão dessa ferrovia daria um salto de qualidade no escoamento da crescente produção de soja na região.

A partir de Vilhena-RO, tudo é incerto para os chineses e eles têm noção disso, a ponto de ainda estarem firmando acordos para estudos básicos sobre a viabilidade da construção da ferrovia em território peruano.

Os acordos entre Brasil e China provocaram agitações no mercado metroferroviário brasileiro, seja pela possibilidade de construção de ferrovias para melhor integração do mercado de commodities entre os dois países, seja pelos acordos comerciais para a compra de material ferroviário a preços mais acessíveis, abrindo o setor para as indústrias chinesas.

O mercado ferroviário chinês é um dos mais ativos do mundo: boa parte dos trilhos comprados para nossos projetos ferroviários é proveniente da China, ao passo que somos um país com recursos minerais e industriais para a produção nacional dos mesmos.

A indústria metroferroviária nacional avalia com bastante preocupação a entrada dos chineses no mercado brasileiro. Os precedentes não são bons, vide o caso dos contratos chineses junto à Argentina, que abriu seu mercado para a participação dos chineses sem a preocupação de resguardar a indústria nacional, gerando demissões e quebras no setor na competição com o material rodante chinês.

No Brasil já existiram conflitos desse tipo, principalmente nas licitações de metrôs e trens urbanos financiados pelo Banco Mundial, que não exige em seus contratos de financiamento a compra de trens nacionais. Tanto o Consórcio Via Quatro do metrô de São Paulo quanto a Super Via, no Rio de Janeiro, tiveram seus projetos financiados pelo banco e compraram material rodante de outros países, tal como Coreia do Sul e China, respectivamente, deixando as fabricantes nacionais de lado.

É necessário dizer que, no Brasil, em momentos de crescimento econômico, ocorre a expansão das ferrovias, mas, quando a situação econômica se deteriora, os investimentos minguam e o que foi investido começa a se deteriorar. Foi assim no período do café, na estatização na década de 1950 e nas concessões da década de 1990: há uma histórica falta de recursos para o modal.

Por exemplo, o momento vivido pelo setor metroferroviário no Brasil hoje não é dos melhores: o ajuste fiscal atinge em cheio os projetos de infraestrutura de transportes, sendo os investimentos em ferrovias bastante prejudicados, a ponto de impelir o Ministério da Fazenda a retirar do horizonte próximo a implementação do novo marco regulatório do setor, que visava a dar maior competitividade ao modal.

O atual modelo de concessão é vertical, em que não há competição entre as concessionárias para o uso das diferentes malhas do País, tendo como consequência o encarecimento do frete ferroviário. A regulação do modal também é frágil, faltando fiscalização satisfatória por parte da Agência Nacional de Transporte Terrestre (ANTT) nos contratos de concessão. O quadro para a iniciativa privada também não é favorável: apenas no mês de maio, foram registradas cerca de 100 demissões nas concessionárias ferroviárias.

Em 1967, Albert Hirshman escreveu um interessante ensaio sobre projetos de desenvolvimento, no qual desenvolveu a ideia de que grandes projetos devem ter algumas de suas características não reveladas para sua realização, tal como o preço a ser pago pelo empreendimento e seus respectivos impactos socioambientais.

O caso da ferrovia transcontinental é um desses projetos desenvolvimentistas com poucas informações a seu respeito: poucos estudos de impacto socioambiental, indefinições quanto ao traçado e custo imprevisível são algumas das marcas do projeto. As informações disponíveis não autorizam o anúncio de um empreendimento desse tamanho para a região. Então o que está em jogo no anúncio da Ferrovia Transcontinental?

O que está posto para o setor metroferroviário nos acordos firmados com a China é a reafirmação da nossa condição de dependência, com poucas indicações de investimento na indústria metroferroviária e o atrelamento da economia brasileira à sua “vocacional” matriz exportadora de commodities, veio central da expansão do modal ferroviário brasileiro nos últimos anos.

Assim, a entrada dos chineses no mercado metroferroviário brasileiro deve ser vista com cautela, a fim de que não terminemos liquidando o setor mais uma vez, entregando-o a interesses pouco preocupados com a solução de nossos gargalos de infraestrutura de transportes

Fonte: Brasil Debate

Nota Conjunta do Ministério das Relações Exteriores e do Ministério do Desenvolvimento, Indústria e Comércio Exterior – Reconhecimento Mútuo da Cachaça e da Tequila como Designações Próprias e Produtos Típicos

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Declaração de Reconhecimento Mútuo da Cachaça e da Tequila como Designações Próprias e Produtos Típicos, Respectivamente, do Brasil e do México

Cidade do México, 26 de maio de 2015

A Senhora Presidenta Dilma Rousseff e o Senhor Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto decidiram que seus Governos acordarão reconhecimento mútuo da Cachaça e da Tequila como designações próprias e produtos típicos originários, respectivamente, do Brasil e do México.

Para esse efeito, os dois Governos negociarão nas próximas semanas os termos de acordo bilateral concedendo proteção recíproca à Cachaça e à Tequila como designações protegidas que só poderão ser utilizadas nas condições previstas na legislação e regulamentos vigentes no Brasil, no caso da Cachaça, e nas condições e regulamentos vigentes no México, no caso da Tequila.

Os dois Governos adotarão as medidas necessárias para assegurar a proteção recíproca da Cachaça e da Tequila como bebidas destiladas originárias do Brasil e do México, respectivamente, e prover os meios jurídicos necessários para prevenir o uso indevido dessas designações.

Nos termos do acordo, a importação e a comercialização de Cachaça no território mexicano somente serão permitidas para Cachaça produzida no Brasil de acordo com as leis e os regulamentos aplicáveis no Brasil.

Da mesma forma, a importação e a comercialização de Tequila no território brasileiro somente serão permitidas para Tequila produzida no México de acordo com as leis e os regulamentos aplicáveis no México.

Fonte: Itamaraty

Martin Wolf: “The embattled future of global trade policy”

The embattled future of global trade policy

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Should proposed US plurilateral trade agreements be welcomed? This is a big question, not least for those who consider the liberalisation of world trade to be a signal achievement. It is also highly controversial.

Since the failure of the “Doha round” of multilateral negotiations — launched shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001 — the focus of global trade policy has shifted towards plurilateral agreements restricted to a limited subgroup of partners. The most significant are US-led: the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. As a study by the US Council of Economic Advisers puts it, the Obama administration’s trade agenda aims to put America “at the center of an integrated trade zone covering nearly two-thirds of the global economy and almost 65 per cent of US goods trade”.

The TPP is a negotiation with 11 countries, most importantly Japan. Its partners account for 36 per cent of world output, 11 per cent of population and about one-third of merchandise trade. The TTIP is between the US and the EU, which account for 46 per cent of global output and 28 per cent of merchandise trade. The main partner not included in these negotiations is, of course, China.

Some of the countries participating in the TPP still have quite high barriers to imports of goods. The CEA notes the relatively high tariffs in Malaysia and Vietnam and agricultural protection in Japan. It also argues that the TPP partners and EU have higher barriers to imports of services than the US.

Yet lowering barriers is only a part of the US aim. The CEA report adds that, in the TPP, Washington is proposing “enforceable labor protections and greener policies”. But it is also seeking “strong enforcement of intellectual property rights”. In the TTIP, “both sides seek agreement on crosscutting disciplines on regulatory coherence and transparency” — in other words making rules more compatible with one another and more transparent for business. Thus, both the TPP and TTIP are efforts to shape the rules of international commerce. Pascal Lamy, former director-general of the World Trade Organisation, argues that “TPP is mostly, though not only, about classical protection-related market access issues . . . TTIP is mostly, though not only, about . . . .  regulatory convergence”.

Whether these negotiations succeed will depend on whether the administration obtainstrade promotion authority from Congress. But should we want them to succeed?

The straightforward points in favour are: plurilateral agreements are now the best way to liberalise global trade, given the failure of multilateral negotiations; their new rules and procedures offer the best template for the future; and they will bring significant gains.

These arguments have force. Yet there are also counter-arguments.

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With limited political capital, the focus on plurilateral trade arrangements risks diversion of effort from the WTO. That might undermine the potency of global rules. Jagdish Bhagwati of Columbia University stresses such risks. Furthermore, preferential trading arrangements risk distorting complex global production chains.

Another concern is that the US is using its clout to impose regulations that are not in the interests of its partners. I would be less concerned about labour and environmental standards, though both might be inappropriate, than about protection of intellectual property. It is not true that tighter standards are in the interest of all. On the contrary, if US standards were to be imposed, the costs might be very high.

Do you think Britain should repeal the Human Rights Act?

Finally, the economic gains are unlikely to be large. Trade has been substantially liberalised already and any gains decline as barriers fall. A study of the TPP by thePeterson Institute for International Economics in Washington suggests the rise in US real incomes would be below 0.4 per cent of national income. A study of the TTIP published by the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London comes to slightly higher figures for the EU and US. Completion of the TPP and TTIP might raise US real incomes by 1 per cent of GDP. This is not nothing, but it is not large.

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The US-EU agreement does not raise concerns about the US ability to bully its partners. In trade, the two sides are equally matched. There are three further concerns with the TTIP, however.

First, Jeronim Capaldo of Tufts University has argued that estimates of the gains ignore macroeconomic costs. His Keynesian approach argues that the EU will lose demand because of a fall in its trade surplus. This is ridiculous. Macroeconomic problems should be addressed with macroeconomic policies. Trade policy has different goals.

Second, some of the barriers they are attempting to remove reflect different attitudes to risk. The negotiators will have to devise a text that allows co-ordination of regulatory procedures — over drug testing, say, without imposing identical preferences. If Europeans do not want genetically modified organisms, they must be allowed to preserve that preference. If trade policy treads on such sacred ground, it will die.

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Finally, we have the vexed issue of investor-state dispute settlement. Many complain that political choices — publicly-funded health systems or the right to control drug prices — might be put at risk by systems biased in favour of business. Negotiators fervently deny this. They had better be right.

On balance, the benefits of the TPP and TTIP will probably be positive, but modest. But there are risks. They must not become an alternative to the WTO or an attempt to push China to the margins of trade policy making. They must not be used to impose damaging regulations or subvert legitimate ones. Tread carefully. Overreaching could prove counterproductive even to the cause of global trade liberalisation.

martin.wolf@ft.com

. . .

Letter in response to this column:

The macroeconomic angle on the trade debate / From Jeronim Capaldo

Fonte: Financial Times

Alianza del Pacífico y MERCOSUR representan más de 80% del comercio exterior regional

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(24 de noviembre, 2014) La Alianza del Pacífico (AP) y el Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR) representan combinados más de 80% del comercio exterior regional, así como de su población, y más de 90% de su producto interno bruto (PIB) y de sus flujos de inversión extranjera directa, según un nuevo informe de la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).

El documento La Alianza del Pacífico y el MERCOSUR. Hacia la convergencia en la diversidad fue presentado hoy a los Gobiernos del continente como contribución al seminario Diálogo sobre la Integración Regional: la Alianza del Pacífico y el MERCOSUR, que se desarrolló en Santiago de Chile bajo la organización del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de este país.

El informe destaca que ambas agrupaciones cuentan entre sus miembros a las siete mayores economías de América Latina y el Caribe, según tamaño de su PIB (en 2013, en orden decreciente): Brasil, México, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile y Perú. La Alianza del Pacífico (AP) está compuesta por Chile, Colombia, México y Perú, mientras que el MERCOSUR lo conforman Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay, Uruguay y Venezuela.

En 2013, el comercio total entre ambos grupos de países alcanzó los 47.400 millones de dólares, con exportaciones de la AP al MERCOSUR de 23.700 millones de dólares, monto muy similar al de los envíos del MERCOSUR a la Alianza, agrega el documento.

Dados los actuales niveles de intercambio, la CEPAL señala que la convergencia entre la AP y el MERCOSUR no solo traería beneficios para sus países miembros, sino que constituiría una oportunidad histórica para avanzar hacia una verdadera integración regional.

“Un proceso de integración de características regionales parece, pues, más adecuado a los signos de los tiempos y a las exigencias del cambio estructural en pro de la igualdad en América Latina. La gradual convergencia entre la Alianza del Pacífico y el MERCOSUR podría constituir un catalizador decisivo de ese proceso”, señala Alicia Bárcena, Secretaria Ejecutiva de la CEPAL, en el prólogo del estudio.

América Latina y el Caribe muestra una situación de estancamiento en materia exportadora desde fines de los años noventa, ya que su participación en las exportaciones mundiales ha fluctuado entre 5% y el actual 6%, pese a los altos precios registrados por varios de los productos básicos exportados por la región durante la mayor parte de la década pasada. Además, muestra una baja inserción en la economía del conocimiento ya que destinó en promedio 0,84% del PIB regional entre 2005 y 2012 a investigación y desarrollo (I+D), aunque el gasto en esta área en casi todos los países de la región (excepto Argentina y Brasil) fue inferior a 0,5% del PIB.

Según el organismo de las Naciones Unidas, una integración final de todas las subregiones de América Latina y el Caribe debiera ser el norte que guíe los esfuerzos de las distintas agrupaciones y foros en los próximos años. Además, una acción regional concertada permitiría fortalecer la voz de la región en los principales encuentros de debate mundiales y en sus relaciones con otros actores relevantes del sistema internacional.

Para ello la CEPAL propone a los países una agenda de trabajo que fomente la integración regional centrada en los siguientes puntos: facilitación del comercio, tanto intrarregional como con el resto del mundo; movilidad de personas; ciencia, tecnología y prospectiva; sostenibilidad; transporte; energía; política industrial; y aproximación conjunta a Asia Pacífico, entre otros.

Además propone que tanto los esquemas de integración como las organizaciones empresariales –y en especial las empresas translatinas- mejoren el diálogo mutuo para promover cadenas de valor regionales o subregionales competitivas.

Fonte: CEPAL