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ECLAC: Planning for Development “Back” in Latin America and the Caribbean

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - July 3, 2012

Above: Antonio Prado and Jose Antonio Ocampo (ECLAC Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Planning for development is “back with a renewed strength and complex challenges” in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to Antonio Prado, deputy executive secretary at the UN Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean.

Prado was speaking Monday at the opening commemorative seminar marking the 50th anniversary of the Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning at the organization’s headquarters in Santiago, Chile.

ILPES was created by ECLAC in 1962 aiming to support regional governments in planning and public administration.

“Closing the multiple gaps in the region takes a long-term vision, strategic planning and long-lasting persistence,” he said. “The state must be capable of providing strategic management for the long run, looking ahead, and being involved in the design of strategies for guiding national development.”

Prado was joined at the seminar by Professor Jose Antonio Ocampo, former ECLAC executive secretary, ILPES Director Jorge Mattar and Dominican Republic Economy Minister Temistocles Montas.

Recalling the history of ILPES, Ocampo said the most successful period for Latin America and the Caribbean from an economic development perspective was from 1945 to 1980, when the region showed a GDP annual growth of 5.5 percent.

“Latin America has advanced in the last years in achieving a welfare state focused on assistance rather than universality, which is exactly what ECLAC has set as one of its current goals,” said Ocampo, who teaches at Columbia University in New York.

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