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Uruguayan Minister of Economy and Finance Opened 2013 ECLAC Summer School

23 July 2013|News

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"There is no way of making balanced progress towards greater levels of development and well-being while ignoring what is happening in the production base" of our countries, according to Fernando Lorenzo, Uruguayan Minister of Economy and Finance, speaking on Tuesday 23 July at the opening of the 14th Summer School on Latin American Economies 2013, organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Each year, the School brings together post-graduate students from Latin America, Europe and Asia, who are given the opportunity to find out about the most recent ECLAC research into productive development, structural change, innovation, employment and equality.

The 2013 course involves 32 students (19 women and 13 men) from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In his address, Fernando Lorenzo described recent transformations to Uruguay's production structure, which aimed to generate quality jobs to raise the population's levels of well-being.

The Minister analysed changes in his country's economy in the light of ECLAC's proposed Structural Change for Equality, launched at the Commission's most recent session in El Salvador in 2012. He stated "Structural change necessarily means advancing towards more diversified production structures".

Other participants in the opening included Juan Alberto Fuentes, Director of the ECLAC Economic Development Division, who referred to macroeconomic trends in Latin America and the Caribbean, Wilson Peres, Economic Affairs Officer in the ECLAC Division of Production, Productivity and Management, and Gabriel Porcile, Academic Director of the Summer School.

Juan Alberto Fuentes acknowledged what the transformation process in Uruguay had in common with the Commission's recommendations: "ECLAC is an agency that aims to be a bridge between the generation of ideas and policy proposals, and this is what governments need".

The official placed special emphasis on the importance of investment "as an essential variable of structural change" and of intraregional trade for promoting countries' industrial development. His speech also mentioned the region's progress in terms of macroeconomic policies, while also mentioning some risks arising from the external environment.

Between 2000 (when the Summer School was founded) and 2012, the programme has taught over 350 students from around 150 renowned universities.

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