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15 Feb 2017

Who arrives first: a marathon runner or a truck driver on a trip between Mexico and Panama?

Don Heriberto Martinez, a 55-year-old truck driver from El Salvador, spent most of his adult life transporting goods down the Pacific corridor. The corridor is the shortest route between Mexico and Panama, where six billion dollars of commercial goods are transported every year. Martinez usually spends eight days to drive its 3,200 kilometers. On the other hand, Dennis Kimetto is a 32-year-old Kenyan athlete who holds the marathon world record. He can run about 20...
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7 Feb 2017

5 Data Visualization Tools in INTrade to help you get a handle on LAC trade and integration

The Western Hemisphere covers over 34 countries, each with different factor endowments and development histories, and linked by a complex “spaghetti bowl” of regional integration projects and bilateral and plurilateral trade agreements. Making sense of any one part of these is challenging, but the Integration and Trade Sector’s INTrade system offers information that can help users quickly get a handle on the trade patterns and policies in countries of the region. To begin, the Country...
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31 Jan 2017

Are we entering a new era of trade facilitation cooperation in Latin America?

This afternoon, Brazil’s Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services and Argentina’s Ministry of Production announced a technical cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank. The goal is to intensify areas for dialogue between Brazilian and Argentinian governments and private sectors to effectively implement measures to facilitate bilateral trade. The IDB will provide technical assistance to implement a plan of action approved by the participants. This cooperation agreement evolved from the Memorandum of Understanding signed between...
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24 Jan 2017

How did a Paraguayan SME manage to overcome barriers and the cost of information to offer a top product with international standards?

When Paraguay Teas was created, Margarita Duarte and her sister Marisa were two young, entrepreneurial women from the city who one day went touring the Paraguayan countryside to talk directly to farmers. Many of them where men older than the Duarte sisters, who listened with suspicion to the strangers. Little by little the Duarte sisters managed to buy, process and pack high quality teas for export to several countries. First with stevia, a product they...
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11 Jan 2017

The Origin and Dynamics of Export Superstars

How can we promote export growth and diversification? This is a perennial question for policymakers around the world, especially in developing countries. What type of exporters should we promote? Should we care about all potential exporters or only those of a particular size? If we frame our thinking in terms of size, then the existing trade literature provides some answers based on evidence from different countries. Specifically, a growing branch of trade literature has been...
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3 Jan 2017

The Integration Waze: the partnership between INTAL and Latinobarómetro and the region’s demand for integration

The popular smartphone app Waze tells you the quickest, least congested route for getting wherever it is you want to go. Few roads have been as winding as Latin America’s path to integration, which has involved progress and setbacks, bogus shortcuts, and even the occasional roadblock and picket line. So how can we work out the best route to integration? The secret of Waze’s success is simple: it provides information on things that other people...
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13 Dec 2016

The Stabilization of Prices Favored Regional Exports in 2016

According to Trade Trend Estimates: Latin America and the Caribbean, in 2016, exports from Latin America and the Caribbean have shrunk by an estimated 6%, which points to a tempering of the severe 15% contraction of 2015. Almost every country in the region saw a slowing in the pace of the contraction of foreign sales (Figure 1). Remarkably, starting from August 2016, the region started to witness some positive year-on-year growth rates for the first...
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