PODCAST: Pandemic exposes LatAm's past complacency, says World Bank VP
July 21, 2020 |
New LAC head for multilateral lender says the region has an opportunity to rethink the future
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The coronavirus pandemic has exposed Latin America's lost opportunity to convert the profits from raw material exports to China at the opening of the 21st century into meaningful widespread and lasting economic development.
That is the viewpoint of the World Bank's newly appointed vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, who joined the LatinFinance Connect podcast on Monday.
He said the pandemic is exposing the fault lines in regional development but also highlighting the importance of education and healthcare. This is perhaps offering a new opening to rethink future development.
Starting in the new job on July 1, yet still working from Nairobi where his old job is based because of travel restrictions, Jaramillo voiced grave concerns for the region and reiterated the stark future for tens of millions of Latin Americans in the coming months ahead.
"The pandemic is making that agenda perhaps more urgent. But now we're going to start from a lower base because our calculations is that at minimum, 50 million more Latin Americans will slide under the poverty line this year. It is just in this year alone, in 2020. And that means that we will need to really stimulate these economies into a recovery that is very heavy on creation of new jobs and better income opportunities. I think it's a similar agenda and now much more urgent. And we will need to make sure we have bigger results," Jaramillo said.
Listen in to the full interview here and keep a lookout for discussions about the grim economic data at around the 4:00 mark, talk of complacency in the region around 7:30, the role of the World Bank for the region 10:30 and again at 15:30, financial markets and whether or not the World Bank is crowding out the private sector at 21:50, discussion of where the cracks in social and economic polices are being felt most at 27:20 and the extreme concerns about Venezuela, the region's outlier, at 34:20.
Listen to the end for the perspective on how virtual meetings are impacting World Bank staff.
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Thanks and enjoy.