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Central America: Economic Progress
Alfred Schipke, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
"This is an excellent and timely publication. In fact, at a time when simultaneous external shocks are striking the global economy, this publication constitutes a significant and valuable guide for policymakers in the region. It not only fills a void in applied research on Central America, but also provides specific policy recommendations on how to pave the way for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.
The authors, while recognizing the progress the region has made over the past years in terms of macroeconomic stability and growth performance, highlight the main challenges ahead to further reduce vulnerabilities and improve policy effectiveness aimed at bringing down income inequality and poverty. In this context, the book calls for more policy coordination among the Central American countries to keep up with increased regional and global integration. It makes recommendations on how to attract more foreign investment and reap the benefits of a customs union, without sacrificing needed tax revenue. On financial markets, the publication constitutes an important source of information on the main obstacles the region faces for the development of private debt and equity markets and the steps to follow.
The insights of this publication will be useful for policymakers, academics, students, and the informed public alike."
-- María Antonieta Del Cid Navas de Bonilla, President, Central American Monetary Council and Central Bank of Guatemala.
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