The Advantages and Disadvantages of Regional Integration (Nafta, Eu, Apec, Asean, Cafta, Etc.) Compare and Contrast the Economic Development Stages of Countries Within Your Chosen Region and the Ramifications of Your Region's Economic Development ...

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The Caribbean region has recognized long ago that the key to greater prosperity lies in working together and increasing economic ties both within the region and with the rest of the world. We, at the Fund, fully share this vision, and it is my sincere hope that your discussions over the coming days will help move this agenda forward. The Caribbean region is particularly well placed to benefit from globalization. Its rich democratic history, generally strong institutions, and impressive social indicators (notably on education and health) provide a solid foundation for working together as a region to compete effectively in the global economy. The region has already proven adept at seizing on its comparative advantage by developing a thriving tourism sector, and it is now broadening the market to new visitors such as those from Asia and Eastern Europe. Of course, it is important that growth in tourism also benefits other sectors of the economy, and that successful transformations of the manufacturing and agriculture sectors continue. Regional collaboration and integration will also help overcome the limitations and vulnerabilities inherent in the relatively small size of individual economies. Continued progress toward a common Caribbean market will allow small economies to pool their resources and provide local firms with access to larger markets—a key foundation for boosting efficiency and sustaining dynamic growth. Experience elsewhere shows that regional integration also strengthens the ability of countries to cope with negative shocks. This is a particularly relevant benefit for the Caribbean region where, as you know, the impact of shocks can be devastating for any single economy. In this connection, reforming still quite rigid local labor markets remains a priority to make economies more dynamic, flexible, and resilient. The region is already making highly welcome efforts on many fronts to work together more closely, coordinate policies, and present itself...
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