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Call for papers - XII REDLAS Conference regional integration in services

1 July 2023|Event

Services represent approximately two-thirds of GDP and employment in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). However, this sector still represents a small part of the region's exports. Although services include several modern activities delivered by digital means and that are knowledge-intensive (such as telecommunications, computing, software, finance, and various types of creative and business services), most services in the region are traditional, low productivity, and informal. This situation has a negative impact on services exports, slows down the growth of the manufacturing and primary sectors, and affects the macroeconomic performance of the economies.

To promote services and their contribution to sustainable development in the region, the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Services Researchers and Policy Makers (REDLAS) was created in 2010. This community of researchers, public officials, and professionals is interested in studying and formulating public policies for developing services and their export potential. In more than a decade of activities, REDLAS has more than 500 associates in more than 17 countries across various disciplines, including economics, geography, political science, business administration, and sociology. REDLAS associates work in universities or study centers, governments, international organizations, and the private sector.

The Regional Program Alliances for Democracy and Development with Latin America (ADELA) of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) leads the Network, while the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) supports its coordination. To date, REDLAS has held eleven conferences: Brazil (2010), Chile (2012), Mexico (2014), Uruguay (2015), Brazil (2016), Costa Rica (2017), Argentina (2018), Colombia (2019), Panama (2020), Barbados (2021) and Lima (2022). The 2018 and 2021 events were organized jointly with the UNCTAD Global Services Forum and the Latin American Association of Service Exporters (ALES).

This year the XII REDLAS Conference will be held in Mexico City, in October, and will have the traditional support of KAS-ADELA, ECLAC and a local partner to be defined.


This call for proposals aims to promote research work that allows the generation of diagnoses and intervention proposals to promote regional integration in services in LAC. These works will be presented at the XII REDLAS Conference. It is suggested that the work proposals focus on the following topics:

i) Progress and obstacles to (sub)regional integration in services

a. General trends that promote or hinder integration
b. Advances and challenges in integration in each integration scheme
c. Regulatory barriers in service sectors and their impact on intraregional trade
d. Other factors (human capital, FDI, ICT) affecting regional integration in services
e. Regional integration processes of services in Europe, Africa and Asia
f. Cases of success and failure in intraregional trade in services

ii) Regional value chains

a. Regional linkages of services measured by input-output matrices
b. Services and new techno-productive paradigms (Agritech, Industry 4.0, Fintech, etc.)
c. Intraregional services export experiences to support goods sectors
d. The servicification of the export sectors oriented to the regional market
e. Case studies of regional chains in traditional and modern services

iii) Electronic commerce (e-commerce) as a "driver" of regional integration

a. Case studies and national and regional experiences
b. The heterogeneity between countries around the regulation of digital commerce
c. Logistics and enabling payment systems for regional digital commerce
d. Promote the participation of SMEs (led by women) in e-commerce
e. Cases of success and failure in cross-border e-commerce

iv) The contribution of regional trade in services to sustainable development

a. Environmentally oriented services and the circular economy in the region
b. Closing the gender gap through regional exports of services
c. Trade niches services for SMEs
d. Cases of success and failure of contributions of intraregional trade in services to sustainable development

Submission and selection of proposals

Abstracts (maximum 2,000 words) must be sent before July 1, 2023 to They must clearly state the objectives of the work, methodology, and main expected results. The Academic Committee will notify the authors of accepted abstracts before July 15, 2023. The full paper must be sent before October 15, 2023. Papers can be written in Spanish, English, or Portuguese. Its length cannot exceed 12,000 words. 

The organizing institutions will cover the local lodging and food expenses for one author of each selected paper. The authors must finance international travel expenses.

The academic committee includes the following people:

Ricardo Rozemberg, IDB-INTAL, Argentina

Kai-Ann Skeete, University of the West Indies, Barbados

Dimaria Meirelles, McKenzie Presbyterian University, Brazil

Marina Moreira, University of Brasilia, Brazil

Dorotea Lopez – University of Chile

Fabiola Wust - University of Chile

Karina Fernandez Stark, consultant, Chile

Enrique Gilles - College of Higher Studies in Administration, Colombia

Carmen Astrid Romero – Sergio Arboleda University, Colombia

Ricardo Monge – Academy of Central America, Costa Rica

Alfredo Hualde, College of the Northern Frontier, Mexico

David Edery, University of Lima, Peru

Bruno Antunes – UNCTAD, Switzerland

Javier Peña, Consultant, Uruguay

Marcee Gomez, KAS

Javiera Arteaga, ECLAC

Leda Peralta, ECLAC

So Jeong Lee, ECLAC

Nanno Mulder, ECLAC

Organizational aspects of the conference

The conference will be divided into two days. The first will focus on presenting trends and discussing public policy improvements supporting regional integration in services. The second day will focus on presenting and discussing various academic papers, along with an interactive workshop.

This conference is organized at the local level by Leda Peralta (Officer in charge of the Industry and Commerce Unit of ECLAC and So Jeong Lee (Associate Economic Affairs Officer of the same Unit -, with the support of Nanno Mulder (Head of the ECLAC Sustainable Trade Unit, Javiera Arteaga (Economic Affairs Officer of the same Unit and Marcee Gomez (Project coordinator of the Regional Program Alliances for Democracy and Development with Latin America -ADELA- of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation

PDF version is attached.