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Sectors and businesses facing COVID-19: Emergency and reactivation

Publication cover
Corporate author:
23 p. July 2020


This Special Report “Sectors and businesses facing COVID-19: emergency and reactivation” is the fourth in a series by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) on the evolution and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The economic crisis generated by coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is having a major impact on the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and is hitting a productive and business structure with weaknesses that have been building up for decades. Before the pandemic, the region’s production structure already showed great structural heterogeneity that seriously limited its economic development possibilities. The pandemic makes these weaknesses more evident and amplifies economic, social and environmental tensions. In the arena of production, it is urgent to mitigate capacity destruction, without neglecting the need for a sustained increase in productivity, the generation of productive linkages and increased learning and the generation and dissemination of innovations.

In this context, manufacturing is of strategic importance and must play a leading role in the growth process and in changing the productive matrix. This requires policies to change the production structure. In other words, incentives other than those that currently prevail for private companies, together with the State, to make the necessary investments to diversify the economic structure, ensure a continuous and stable growth process and avoid social and environmental setbacks.

Table of contents

A. The crisis has hit a productive and business structure with weaknesses that have been building up for decades .-- B. Over a third of formal employment and a quarter of GDP are generated in sectors heavily hit by the crisis .-- C. The impact on manufacturing could produce a regressive structural change .-- D. 2.7 million companies are likely to close .-- E. The measures taken so far: important but insufficient .-- F. The coordinating role of business chambers .-- G. Amid difficult business conditions, large-scale responses .-- H. From emergency to recovery: changing the productive structure and international integration.