This publication, which is an offshoot of the 2010 position document of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, entitled Time for equality: closing gaps, opening trails, seeks to provide evidence of the linkage between international trade —and in particular export sector development— and some aspects of equality (export employment, export firms, gender and trade, export linkages) and to propose some public policy guidelines capable of reinforcing this link.
The marked expansion in international trade in Latin America and the Caribbean over the past decade does not by itself guarantee balanced economic, social and territorial development but presents opportunities that should be seized. The challenge for the region is to enhance the quality of its international integration and to boost the inclusive impacts of trade, thereby contributing to more equitable development. This does not occur automatically. The central idea of this study is that the benefits of international trade depend to a great extent on the quality of the public-private policies that underpin and complement it as well as on regional cooperation.
In a globalized world, the possibility of achieving growth and reducing inequalities is linked to contexts that enhance the international integration of our products and enterprises and that are accompanied by policies promoting innovation, competitiveness, production development, employment and training.
Another requirement is the existence of a macroeconomic and institutional environment that is conducive to development and the achievement of greater social equity.