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UN: LatAm, Caribbean trade down 13 pct this year

UN: LatAm, Caribbean trade down 13 pct this year

International trade in Latin America and the Caribbean is set to fall 13 percent this year, a U.N. economic commission predicted Tuesday _ worse than the world average amid the global financial crisis.
A report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, or ECLAC, blamed the fall on factors such as reduced demand, lower prices for key commodities produced in the region and tightened credit markets.
Exports are expected to fall by 11 percent and imports by 14 percent, according to the report _ 72-year and 27-year performance lows, respectively.
Executive secretary Alicia Barcena told reporters at ECLAC headquarters in Santiago that not since the 1930s has the region seen a simultaneous recession affecting four-fifths of nations.
Mexico is experiencing the biggest blow to commerce due to its close ties to the U.S. economy, ECLAC said, while Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia are suffering the most from exchange fluctuations.
In the first half of 2009, the region's exports of mining and petroleum products fell by 50.7 percent, manufactured goods by 23.9 percent and agricultural goods by 17 percent, the report said.
Exports to the European Union during the six-month period were down 36.3 percent, while exports to the United States fell 35.3 percent. Intra-regional commerce fell 33 percent compared to the same period in 2008.
Tuesday's forecast of a 13 percent decline in imports and exports is 3 percentage points lower than predictions for the world as a whole.
"Despite the acute commercial contraction ... the region has resisted better than in the past the effects of the current crisis," ECLAC'S report said.
"It is expected that after two or three years of scarce activity, international commerce will once again be a source of opportunities for which the region should prepare itself."


Updated : 2021-08-04 00:45 GMT+08:00