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OAS Co-Sponsors Conference on Competitiveness in the Americas

  November 15, 2010

The Organization of American states (OAS) says it is committed to the facilitation of a more competitive, efficient and transparent environment for trade in the Americas.

The hemispheric body along with the United States Department of Commerce, the Inter-American Competitiveness Network, and CIFAL, sponsored the “III Meeting of Americas Competitiveness Authorities and Councils” in Atlanta, Georgia this weekend. High level delegations from 27 countries in the western hemisphere participated in the event.

According to OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, the purpose of the meeting was to analyze the current competitiveness panorama and to discuss necessary reforms for a more productive region. “In our view, business facilitation should be promoted through transparency and clear regulations and be accessible to all. In the end it is counter-productive to the objectives of sound and profitable business, if these would be based on personal relations and privileges to a few in society.”

The OAS official said countries in the hemisphere faced common challenges which called for joint efforts towards a hemispheric competitiveness agenda. “One of the main challenges is diagnosing the cause of low productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean,” he said. A recent IDB study indicates that low productivity is the main reason most Latin American and Caribbean countries have slower growth rates than counterparts in East Asia. The OAS official also cited the lack of modern market regulations and inability to capitalize on the potential of regional integration, as other challenges to competitiveness. “Statistics have shown that countries with efficient business regulatory frameworks attract more business and therefore have a higher business density on average.”

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-436/10