South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation provide a new cooperation model among equals that allows for protecting the interests of middle-income countries, strengthening the participation of developing nations in global forums for fiscal cooperation and addressing harmful fiscal competition through integrated regional programs, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Antonio Prado, sustained this Thursday, May 4.
The senior ECLAC official participated in Panama City in the Forum to launch Panama Cooperates, a National Cooperation Plan for sustainable development that contemplates the participation and coordination of multiple actors at a local, regional and international level with the aim of connecting political, institutional, social and economic opportunities with a view to fulfilling the 2030 Agenda.
In a video greeting sent to the meeting’s attendees, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena, highlighted that Panama “in the last few years has had a relevant vision regarding the needs of the multilateral world and envisions regional leadership of great magnitude.”
She added that with Panama Cooperates, the country “manifests its will to adapt cooperation standards to new trends and play a differentiated role in the international cooperation system.”
During his presentation, Antonio Prado underscored that financing for development, from the perspective of Latin America and the Caribbean, requires mobilizing domestic resources – meaning it is essential for countries to tackle tax avoidance and evasion, which in 2015 cost the region $340 billion dollars (6.7% of GDP), and to combat the illicit flows linked to foreign trade.
Prado contended that, in addition, officials must progressively manage the transition of offshore financial centers; make international cooperation on fiscal policy matters multilateral to put a stop to fiscal competition between countries, among other aims; and include the resources mobilized by national and subregional development banks.
He reiterated that the 2030 Agenda is universal, indivisible, comprehensive and civilizing because it proposes aligning policies to eliminate poverty, favoring equality and environmental sustainability. In that vein, he emphasized that only with multilateral cooperation will the world be able to correct asymmetries and lay the foundations for an open and stable international system that imposes fewer restrictions on national decisions.
In the inaugural session of the Forum, held a day before, Prado affirmed that with its national plan, Panama seeks to “lead by example” in the international arena.
He highlighted that Panama’s plan has a premise that ECLAC values, which is equalizing to grow and growing to equalize. “It is fundamental to understand that inclusive growth is that which enables its own sustainability, not just economically but also socially,” he concluded.