Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, nz, bse-free

descargar 71.12 Kb.
títuloUruguay, Argentina, Australia, nz, bse-free
fecha de publicación22.06.2015
tamaño71.12 Kb.
e.exam-10.com > Economía > Documentos


Weekly selected news articles with a focus on agribusiness and the Mercosur


June 1 , 2006



Word from Uruguay (48):Regionalism and Integration




WTO sets deadline for tariff and subsidy deal



Burbuja de carbono


Prospects for Latin America are better than they look



Kirchner: tres años en cifras



Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, NZ, BSE-free

VISIT OUR WEB PAGE: www.dbacorporatefinance.com E-MAIL US: dbasa@dba.com.uy


“Editorial comments by DBA”

According to Robert Z. Lawrence1, two underlying sets of causes have led nations to become more closely intertwined. First, technological, social, and cultural changes have sharply reduced the effective economic distances among nations. Second, many of the government policies that traditionally inhibited cross-border transactions have been relaxed or dismantled (Lawrence, 1996). Regarding the former, the sharply reduced costs of moving goods, money, people, and information undertie the profound economic truth that technology has made the world markedly smaller. Regarding the latter, governments have traditionally taxed goods traded internationally, directly restricted imports and subsidized exports, and tried to limit international capital movements. Those policies erected “separation fences” at the border of nations. They reduced trade and in some cases eliminated it. During the 1930s governments used these kind of policies; a practice now believed to have seriously deepened and lengthened the Great Depression. Since the mid 1980s a large number of (developing) countries have moved to reduce border barriers and pursue outward oriented policies, the only way to attract FDI.
International trade occurs because of differences among nations in resource endowments, labor skills, and consumer tastes. Nations specialize in producing goods and services in which they are relatively most efficient. When David Ricardo first developed the theory of comparative advantage, he focused on differences among nations owing to climate or technology. Lawrence (1996) argues that Ricardo could as easily have ascribed the productive differences to differing “social climates” as to physical or technological climates. Taking all “climatic” differences as given, the theory of comparative advantage argues that free trade among nations will maximize global welfare.
As cross-border economic integration increases, governments experience greater difficulties in trying to control events within their border. Those difficulties, summarized by the term diminished autonomy, are the reason why tensions arise from competition between political sovereignty and economic integration. We have been able to witness quite serious examples in Latin America in recent months (Bolivia-Brazil, Argentina-Uruguay, Brazil-Argentina etc).
I believe that some of the problems of regionalization were already described by Jacob Viner (1950)2 who pointed out that preferential free trade arrangements can have both beneficial and detrimental effects on welfare. They move the world both closer to and further way from complete free trade. On the one hand, by eliminating the barriers among its members, an arrangement can create trade and improve efficiency by shifting production from a high-cost domestic producer to a lower-cost trading partner. On the other hand, by granting members market access on preferential terms, it can divert trade, by expanding the production of less efficient members and reducing the production of more efficient outsiders.
Writing his book in 1996, Lawrence explained that his understanding of deeper integration would be an integration that moves beyond the removal of border barriers, and contrasted it with shallow integration, that is, trade liberalization. He did not mean to imply (automatically) that deeper would be better, as deeper international integration could be better or worse, depending on the nature of the policies that are harmonized and the countries to which they are applied. Deeper integration could, for example, take the form of imposing measures on countries that are inappropriate for their stage of development – such as excessively stringent environmental standards (!), or which reduce economic efficiency, such as the Common Agricultural Policy in the European Union (Lawrence, 1996).
In some cases the motivation to form customs unions is to be able to bargain liberalization more effectively and Lawrence argues that the Mercosur Common Market (1991) composed of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay was motivated, in part, by the desire to bargain more effectively with the United States.
It is often that bad strategies are built on (internal) weaknesses in the pursuit of avoiding threats, instead of good strategies which are build on strengths towards opportunities. If it were true what was argued by Lawrence (1996) that the formation of Mercosur was motivated by the desire to be able to bargain more effectively with the USA (or the EU), then we may conclude by now that this strategy has failed. It also springs to mind that the internal conditions of the individual Mercosur countries have not been sufficiently stable during the last 15 years as to warrant a consistent process towards successful integration.
Uruguay, who is faced with the consequences of a failed integration with their Mercosur partners, detrimental effects on their welfare (following the various regional crises), as well as continuous tensions which arise from competition between political sovereignty and economic integration, understandably explores the possibilities of bilateral (free) trade agreements with other nations, such as the USA.
Regionalism and integration have thus become quite an impossible combination.3
See you next time, un fuerte abrazo

May 25th 2006


Happy 20th birthday to our Big Mac index
WHEN our economics editor invented the Big Mac index in 1986 as a light-hearted introduction to exchange-rate theory, little did she think that 20 years later she would still be munching her way, a little less sylph-like, around the world. As burgernomics enters its third decade, the Big Mac index is widely used and abused around the globe. It is time to take stock of what burgers do and do not tell you about exchange rates.
The Economist's Big Mac index is based on one of the oldest concepts in international economics: the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), which argues that in the long run, exchange rates should move towards levels that would equalise the prices of an identical basket of goods and services in any two countries. Our “basket” is a McDonald's Big Mac, produced in around 120 countries. The Big Mac PPP is the exchange rate that would leave burgers costing the same in America as elsewhere. Thus a Big Mac in China costs 10.5 yuan, against an average price in four American cities of $3.10 (see the first column of the table). To make the two prices equal would require an exchange rate of 3.39 yuan to the dollar, compared with a market rate of 8.03. In other words, the yuan is 58% “undervalued” against the dollar. To put it another way, converted into dollars at market rates the Chinese burger is the cheapest in the table.
In contrast, using the same method, the euro and sterling are overvalued against the dollar, by 22% and 18% respectively; the Swiss and Swedish currencies are even more overvalued. On the other hand, despite its recent climb, the yen appears to be 28% undervalued, with a PPP of only ¥81 to the dollar. Note that all emerging-market currencies also look too cheap.
The index was never intended to be a precise predictor of currency movements, simply a take-away guide to whether currencies are at their “correct” long-run level. Curiously, however, burgernomics has an impressive record in predicting exchange rates: currencies that show up as overvalued often tend to weaken in later years. But you must always remember the Big Mac's limitations. Burgers cannot sensibly be traded across borders and prices are distorted by differences in taxes and the cost of non-tradable inputs, such as rents.
Despite our frequent health warnings, some American politicians are fond of citing the Big Mac index rather too freely when it suits their cause—most notably in their demands for a big appreciation of the Chinese currency in order to reduce America's huge trade deficit. But the cheapness of a Big Mac in China does not really prove that the yuan is being held far below its fair-market value. Purchasing-power parity is a long-run concept. It signals where exchange rates are eventually heading, but it says little about today's market-equilibrium exchange rate that would make the prices of tradable goods equal. A burger is a product of both traded and non-traded inputs.

An idea to relish

It is quite natural for average prices to be lower in poorer countries than in developed ones. Although the prices of tradable things should be similar, non-tradable services will be cheaper because of lower wages. PPPs are therefore a more reliable way to convert GDP per head into dollars than market exchange rates, because cheaper prices mean that money goes further. This is also why every poor country has an implied PPP exchange rate that is higher than today's market rate, making them all appear undervalued. Both theory and practice show that as countries get richer and their productivity rises, their real exchange rates appreciate. But this does not mean that a currency needs to rise massively today. Jonathan Anderson, chief economist at UBS in Hong Kong, reckons that the yuan is now only 10-15% below its fair-market value.
Even over the long run, adjustment towards PPP need not come from a shift in exchange rates; relative prices can change instead. For example, since 1995, when the yen was overvalued by 100% according to the Big Mac index, the local price of Japanese burgers has dropped by one-third. In the same period, American burgers have become one-third dearer. Similarly, the yuan's future real appreciation could come through faster inflation in China than in the United States.
The Big Mac index is most useful for assessing the exchange rates of countries with similar incomes per head. Thus, among emerging markets, the yuan does indeed look undervalued, while the currencies of Brazil, Turkey, Hungary and the Czech Republic look overvalued. Economists would be unwise to exclude Big Macs from their diet, but Super Size servings would equally be a mistake.

May 30 2006

WTO sets deadline for tariff and subsidy deal
Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organisation, set an end-of-June deadline on Tuesday for a deal to cut farm subsidies and tariffs on agricultural and industrial goods, warning that global trade talks were running out of time.
Up to 40 trade ministers are expected to join the negotiations in Geneva in the last week of June, in a final attempt to wrap up an accord seen as the core of the Doha global trade round launched in 2001.
The repeated failure of WTO members to agree an interim pact setting detailed guidelines for reducing tariffs and subsidies has held up progress in all other areas of the round, ranging from services to simpler customs procedures. However, there is general agreement that the talks must conclude this year so that the US Congress can ratify the final Doha package before US negotiating authority expires in mid-2007.
Mr Lamy told envoys to the WTO that the tariff and subsidy guidelines had to be agreed in June to leave time in July for other key negotiations, such as on services liberalisation and special treatment for developing countries. The rest of the year is needed to finalise the complete Doha treaty, including drawing up detailed tariff and services schedules for all 149 WTO members.
Trade officials said on Tuesday that the timetable for the so-called “modalities” pact was “tight but do-able”. The chairmen of the negotiating groups on agriculture and industrial goods have been asked to produce draft texts on or around June 19.
Despite intensive negotiations in Geneva over the past few weeks, progress has been glacial since an earlier end-April target for reaching an accord was missed. A large amount of technical work is still needed before ministers can make the big political decisions of how much to cut and where.
“The idea is to agree as much as we can on the framework and leave the actual numbers for min-isters,” said a trade official.
He said there was no question of Mr Lamy stepping in at this stage to put forward a compromise of his own, a move seen as a last resort in the talks.
The European Union has signalled its willingness to move further in cutting agricultural tariffs, on condition that the US does more on farm subsidies and more advanced developing countries such as Brazil and India agree to significant reductions in industrial tariffs.
However, the EU and Brazil are reportedly discussing a less ambitious deal than the US says it can accept.

Mayo 2006

Medio Ambiente

Burbuja de carbono
Una columna de humo blanco anunció el paso del poblado chileno de Graneros desde la era del carbón al mundo posmoderno. En realidad, el humo que empezó a salir de la fábrica de Nestlé en el centro de este pequeño pueblo a una hora de Santiago era vapor, resultado del cambio de combustibles que alimentan las calderas y hornos, el primer proyecto de la multinacional Nestlé en el Mecanismo de Desarrollo Limpio (MDL) en el ámbito del Protocolo de Kyoto. Fue el primer proyecto de sustitución de combustible en MDL. Y también el primer proyecto chileno en ser registrado en la Organización de las Naciones Unidas dentro del acuerdo mundial de reducción de los gases del efecto invernadero, que provocan cambios climáticos como el calentamiento global.
Antes, la antigua fábrica expelía humo negro y hollín del carbón usado por sus hornos y calderas. Hoy, la chimenea es una especie de patrimonio histórico de la empresa y la fábrica funciona con gas natural canalizado por Metrogas, distribuidora privada de la Región Metropolitana de Santiago. La empresa se dispone a vender en junio sus primeros créditos de carbono, frutos del cambio a un combustible más limpio. “Estamos en el corazón del pueblo y queríamos tener menos emisiones particuladas”, dice Fernando Gallardo, gerente de la fábrica de Graneros. “Nuestra chimenea generaba hollín de carbón. Y una parte importante iba a la atmósfera, a pesar de nuestro filtro”. El hollín estaba en todos lados, en las ropas de los vecinos e incluso dentro de la fábrica.
La limpieza de Nestlé en Chile fue una señal en un mercado que comenzó a madurar desde febrero del año pasado, cuando el Protocolo de Kyoto entró en vigencia, después de ser ratificado por Rusia, que completó el grupo de países responsables por el 55% de las emisiones de gases del efecto invernadero requerido por el acuerdo. Entonces comenzó a valer el compromiso acordado en la Conferencia del Clima de Kyoto de 1997, hoy asumido por 156 países.
Mediante el acuerdo, cerca de 30 naciones industrializadas concordaron en reducir sus emisiones de gases del efecto invernadero, que provocan cambios climáticos como el calentamiento global y el aumento del número de huracanes en América del Norte, por ejemplo, en 5,2% respecto del nivel de 1990. Eso equivale a dejar de emitir el equivalente a 5.000 millones de toneladas de carbono, ya sea dejando de emitir el propio CO2, o eliminando los demás gases del efecto invernadero –metano (CH4), óxido nitroso (N2O), hidrofluorocarbonos (HFC), perfluorocarbonos (PFC) y hexafluoruro de azufre (SF6)–, transformados en equivalentes de toneladas de carbono para su medición. Todos son más contaminantes, aunque menos comunes que el propio gas carbónico.
Por el tratado, los países en desarrollo o subdesarrollados no necesitan cumplir metas de reducción de contaminantes hasta 2012, pero pueden vender a los países desarrollados las reducciones de emisiones certificadas por la Organización de las Naciones Unidas. Esas certificaciones son la base del Mecanismo de Desarrollo Limpio, previsto en el Protocolo de Kyoto, según el cual los países emergentes pueden garantizar para sí mismos un desarrollo industrial menos contaminante que el que tuvieron los países ya desarrollados y un incentivo financiero –para el cambio, por ejemplo, a un combustible más caro, como fue el caso de Nestlé en Chile–, sin lo cual muchas veces el consejo de administración de una empresa no aprobaría los gastos de la reducción de contaminantes.
Antes era una inversión errática, en gran parte incentivada por los recursos del Banco Mundial. Pero el mercado de créditos de carbono explotó el año pasado, después de la entrada en vigencia del Protocolo de Kyoto. Según datos de la consultora noruega Point Carbon, el principal medio de información sobre ese mercado naciente, el volumen de créditos de carbono negociados aumentó 2.500% en 2005 a 9.400 millones de euros (US$ 12.000 millones). En 2004, había movido apenas 377 millones de euros (US$ 480 millones).
Gran parte de esos créditos son autorizaciones para contaminaciones emitidas por las autoridades europeas –dentro de los límites permitidos por el Protocolo–negociadas entre los propios países. De ese mercado, cerca de 2.000 millones de euros (US$ 2.600 millones) son certificados de reducción de emisiones bajo el Mecanismo de Desarrollo Limpio, o el CER (por las siglas en inglés para Reducción Certificada de Emisiones). Hoy existen cerca de 140 proyectos de MDL en el mundo, la mitad de ellas en América Latina, región pionera en los debates y en la legislación de Kyoto: el propio MDL fue propuesto por Brasil y Costa Rica.

Mercado explosivo

El precio de los títulos registró una explosión parecida. En la bolsa europea de las autorizaciones de emisión –European Union Allowances–, los precios de los certificados subieron desde cerca de 7 euros por tonelada de carbono cuando el Protocolo de Kyoto entró en vigencia, a 31 euros en su ápice, alcanzado en abril de este año. “El mercado nunca había parado de subir”, dice María Pía Iannariello, gerente general de MGM International, una consultora pionera en el mercado de créditos de carbono.

De hecho, el mercado de créditos de carbono se volvió extremadamente especulativo, con el precio pasando a fluctuar principalmente de acuerdo con los precios del gas y de la energía en general en los mercados de commodities y empujado por los especuladores. Mientras las empresas europeas tenían una demanda sólida por los créditos para cumplir con sus compromisos de reducción de emisiones, la autorización de proyectos por parte de las autoridades nacionales y posteriormente por la ONU se arrastraba. El exceso de demanda para una oferta lenta completaba el escenario propicio para la especulación.
El mes pasado, ese mercado pasó por su primera corrección. La divulgación del balance de las emisiones de algunos países europeos en 2005 mostró que pueden necesitar de menos créditos de carbono que lo previsto anteriormente para cumplir sus metas y provocó una fuga y el colapso de los papeles en la bolsa europea. El informe infló la bola especulativa que se había formado en el mercado de créditos de carbono y los precios cayeron más de 50%. Una allowance en Europa, que llegó a valer 31 euros, cayó a 12 euros en pocos días. Eso paralizó el mercado de CERs, los créditos emitidos por los países en desarrollo, cuya cotización en general oscila en torno a la mitad del valor de las allowances europeas.

“La crisis, en realidad, es un paso necesario para la madurez de ese mercado”, dice Marco Monroy, presidente de MGM, quien preparaba el lanzamiento de uno de los mayores y más sofisticados fondos de crédito de carbono del sector privado, justamente cuando la crisis llegó, y ahora tiene que retomar negociaciones de precios en un mercado extremadamente turbulento. “Creo que en las próximas semanas la tendencia de precios debe definirse y vamos a poder lanzar nuestro fondo.” La historia de MGM se confunde con la del propio mercado de créditos de carbono y ahora la empresa se dispone a dar un paso más en parajes inexplorados.
Hijo de uno de los juristas más famosos de Colombia, el abogado Marco Monroy se mudó a Estados Unidos justamente para salir de la sombra del país. En 2000, fundó MGM International, una consultora enfocada en el desarrollo de proyectos que producen créditos de carbono. Apostó en un mercado todavía dudoso, porque Estados Unidos se había retirado del Protocolo de Kyoto, dejando a Rusia el papel de ratificador clave para que el acuerdo pudiese entrar en vigencia, con el 55% de las emisiones globales. “Mucha gente no creía que Rusia ratificaría el tratado, pero yo sabía que lo harían”, dice.
Así, Monroy comenzó a ofrecer consultoría a empresas dispuestas a desarrollar proyectos en los países en desarrollo a partir de 2000. Participó de la creación de diversas metodologías, como el cambio de combustible en Nestlé en Chile, agilizando el proceso de certificación de nuevos proyectos. Y prepara el lanzamiento de su primer portafolio, que debe captar hasta 400 millones de euros.
En conversaciones con Morgan Stanley, el abogado no conseguía llegar al producto que necesitaba. “Entonces, en Londres, con mi idea, junté un grupo de japoneses para desarrollar la parte técnica durante un fin de semana todo el día y noche”. El fondo es una especie de cámara de compensación, donde el portafolio está dividido entre cerca de 30 proyectos de MDL en diferentes países –México, Brasil, Guatemala, Colombia, Perú, Chile, Argentina, África del Sur y Egipto. Después de cerrado el primer fondo, MGM pretende comenzar a captar una segunda emisión, que deberá incluir proyectos chicos, recién llegados al mercado.
La idea del fondo de MGM es diversificar los proyectos geográficamente y también entre los diferentes gases del efecto invernadero –la mayoría de los inversionistas hoy apoyan en proyectos individuales o en sólo uno de los tipos de reducción de emisiones– para reducir el riesgo del portafolio para los inversionistas, en el caso de la cartera actual, cinco grandes empresas de energía de Europa. Parte de los créditos derivados de los alrededor de 30 proyectos queda depositada en una reserva que garantiza el pago de cerca de 20% de los créditos.
Para obtener esa garantía, los compradores pagan hasta 50% más por los bonos, dice Monroy. Pero tiene la certeza de que recibirán los créditos garantizados en la fecha debida, independientemente del fracaso de alguno de los proyectos del fondo. Los vendedores, a su vez, tienen más seguridad de que no están cayendo en manos de inversionistas buitres que compran un contrato para después demandarlos, si el precio cae o cosas de ese tipo.
Las emisiones futuras

Esa nueva fase del mercado ahora está en suspenso, porque el colapso de los precios de las allowances en Europa estremeció las referencias de precios. Y otras incertidumbres prosiguieron. Rusia, por ejemplo, tiene un monto de créditos disponibles porque la fuerte recesión que siguió a la crisis financiera de 1998 derribó las emisiones del país por debajo del nivel registrado hasta 1990. “Si el país decide vender esos créditos en el mercado, puede destruir el MDL”, dice Monroy. El fondo también busca mitigar riesgos políticos, como la decisión argentina de limitar la exportación de gas para los vecinos latinoamericanos.
Otra incertidumbre es qué va a suceder con el sistema después de 2012, cuando termina la primera fase de compromisos. Países como China y Brasil se resisten a vender sus créditos de carbono porque tienen que cambiar de categoría y asumir compromisos de reducción de emisiones en el futuro, cuando los bonos producidos ahora como países en desarrollo podrán ser muy útiles.

Mientras, el nuevo fondo de MGM es un paso a la oscuridad. “Aún falta una maduración institucional en el sistema”, dice Iannariello, de MGM. “Pero por ahora está apareciendo un mercado verdadero, que puede subir o caer”.
Además, hay fuertes expectativas en relación al desarrollo de este mercado, principalmente en lo que se refiere a megaproyectos de clausura de carbono, donde el gas es almacenado debajo de la tierra o el agua, por ejemplo. Según la economista de la Universidad de Columbia Graciela Chichilnisky, reconocida especialista en ese campo, el mercado del MDL podría llegar a US$ 100.000 millones en esta década.
Para Monroy, la crisis valorizará el fondo, que por el grado mayor de garantía y seguridad ha conseguido precios sobre los practicados por el mercado. Pero los riesgos continuarán. Por eso, Monroy prepara una ofensiva en Oriente Medio y en China.

May 25 2006

Prospects for Latin America are better than they look

The past few months have not been good for Latin America's image. The belated efforts of President George W. Bush to revive negotiations for a Free Trade Area of the Americas were rebuffed at a March summit of the Americas; the summit itself was marred by a very public spat between Vicente Fox, Mexico's president, and Nestor Kirchner, his Argentine counterpart. Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan president, who engaged Mr Fox in an even more public row, subsequently used his influence over Venezuelan state institutions to push through a draconian revision of the contracts of foreign-owned companies involved in the energy sector.
More recently still, Evo Morales, Bolivia's new president, after a summit in Havana with Mr Chávez and Fidel Castro, Cuba's leader, abruptly announced the nationalisation of Bolivia's oil and gas industry, sent in troops to secure installations and warned that companies involved in the sector might not receive compensation. Not to be outdone, the government of Ecuador cancelled Occidental Petroleum's oil extraction contract in mid-May; and in Brazil, shocking violence erupted in São Paulo and 150-plus died as police battled criminal gangs on the streets. These negative images reinforce the traditional stereotypes of Latin America but conflict sharply with the region's underlying economic and political trends. After five years of stagnation from 1998, Latin American economies have enjoyed healthy economic growth in the past few years and the trend seems set to continue. Furthermore, growth this time is combined with falling inflation, current account surpluses and a decline in external debt to gross domestic product ratios.
Meanwhile the poverty rate, the proportion of the population living below the poverty line, has fallen. On the political front, Latin America, once racked by coups, is in an electoral cycle in which polls are being robustly contested, results are hard to predict and incumbent governments have handed over power peacefully. Popular support for democracy, if not satisfaction with it, remains high, according to surveys conducted by Latinobarómetro, an independent polling organisation.
The external environment remains crucial - particularly the combination of low global interest rates, fast growth of world trade and high commodity prices that has been so beneficial in the past few years. Such factors, however, came too late to save many governments from the unfavourable consequences of five years of stagnation. The swing of the political pendulum from early this decade punished incumbents and generally favoured the left. On top of this, Washington's neglect of Latin America since the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, coupled with public insensitivity on immigration issues by many US politicians (bar Mr Bush), has fuelled an anti-Americanism even more pervasive than in the 1960s.
This (entirely predictable) swing to the left has been widely confused with the rise of radical populism. This is important in Venezuela where Mr Chávez has become steadily more radical since he was first elected in 1998. "Chavismo", with its emphasis on carrots for supporters and sticks for opponents, means much to Venezuelans but has limited appeal elsewhere. Despite widespread belief to the contrary, Mr Morales did not need the support of Mr Chávez to be elected in Bolivia last year. Indeed, even the appearance of support by Mr Chávez can be risky, as "populist" presidential candidates are finding to their cost in Peru, Mexico and Ecuador. Venezuelan petro-diplomacy has its limits too. The small countries of Central America and the Caribbean, whose exports overwhelmingly flow to the US, are not going to risk their trade preferences for the sake of cheaper oil.
Assuming oil prices stay above $50 a barrel, it is hard to see Mr Chávez losing the December presidential election. Elsewhere, the left will have to deliver on electoral promises if it is to retain power. The current external environment may well deteriorate. In the next few years, the pendulum could even swing against the left. As it becomes more sophisticated, Latin America's electorate is holding the political class to higher standards. The leftward swing, however, is not universal. Mexicans now look likely to choose a "continuity" candidate in July.
It is Brazil, however, that may provide the key to Latin America's future. Brazilian foreign policy is in disarray and - whether Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is re-elected president or not in October - must be revised. The "softly-softly" approach to Mr Chávez and Mr Morales has left Brazilian foreign policy looking ineffective and foolish. A more robust approach is certain to come - and has already started. The survival of the Mercosur trade bloc will require strong leadership by Brazil and there may have to be greater accommodation with the US on issues ranging from trade to security. If that came about, anti-Americanism would start to diminish and the appeal of Chavismo would decline.
For America's part, it must reassess its approach to a much neglected region. The question is whether Mr Bush sees it as important in his final two years in office. Recent events in Latin America might just have done enough to get him thinking.
The writer is director of Chatham House, the London-based think-tank

28 de mayo de 2006

Kirchner: tres años en cifras
Los tres años de presidencia de Néstor Kirchner que acaban de cumplirse muestran resultados económicos con cifras impactantes y contradictorias. Parece insólito, por ejemplo, que un gobierno que muestra como principal fortaleza los resultados económicos despida al ministro del área.
Algo parecido puede decirse de los números en sí mismos. No cabe duda de que el crecimiento del producto bruto ha sido intenso e incesante, aunque es verdad que había comenzado antes, cuando Kirchner aún no era presidente y, en cambio, Lavagna sí era ministro. Pero gran parte de ese desempeño no es más que la recuperación tras la caída incesante y cada vez más intensa que se produjo desde 1998 y hasta 2002.
También es paradójico que en una economía que crece tanto no se haya generado el clima de inversiones suficiente como para garantizar que ya no ese nivel de alza, sino siquiera uno igual a su mitad, sea sostenible en el futuro. La actual gestión puede decir sin faltar a la verdad que la inversión aumentó mucho, pero no es menos cierto que es insuficiente en general, y casi ínfima en particular en áreas cruciales como las de la energía.
También puede afirmar el Gobierno como uno de sus principales méritos la fortísima reducción de la deuda en moneda extranjera (a la que caprichosa y falazmente se llama externa). El logro ha sido reducir fuertemente los pagos que deben realizarse, pero como contrapartida vale la pena recordar que pese a haber alcanzado la quita más grande de la historia, el país todavía debe hacer el esfuerzo fiscal más grande de toda su historia para poder pagar.
No es menos relevante que gran parte de la quita se hizo despojando de sus ahorros a quienes los dejaron en el país y confiaron en él y tal vez el "logro" de la reducción de la deuda no sea tan ajeno a la frustración de no conseguir ahora una tasa de inversión suficiente. Por otro lado, si es cierto que el país logró un "éxito" financiero, no se entiende por qué todavía enfrenta reclamos de gobiernos a los que se califica de amigos, como el del italiano Romano Prodi, quien al igual que su antecesor derechista, Silvio Berlusconi, quiere una solución para los bonistas de su país que fueron dejados de lado en el canje de deuda.
Otro logro es haber mantenido controlada la inflación, aunque el precio pagado por ello es un fuerte incremento del gasto público financiado con el aumento más grande de la historia de la presión impositiva para subsidiar las tarifas.
No es menor tampoco el mantenimiento del superávit fiscal, aunque parece inaceptable que para alcanzarlo se haya reducido a la mitad el poder de compra de los jubilados que cobran más de $ 1000 mensuales.

May 24, 2006

Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, NZ, BSE-free
Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina were officially recognized by the World Animal Heath Organization, OIE, as the only four countries in the World free of Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis, BSA, more commonly known as “mad cow”.

The BSE-free status was approved by the 168 countries present at the 74th meeting of the annual OIE assembly in Paris and will be valid until May 2008 when the organization will change the assessment criteria, admitting countries with an insignificant risk.
The recommendation to approve the four countries BSE free condition was circulated in March to all OIE member countries, with 60 days to comment. There were no objections. Four other countries figure in “provisionally free” short list: Chile, Iceland, Paraguay and Singapore.
Uruguay’s Director General of the Livestock Services at the Ministry of Agriculture, Francisco Muzio will be officially receiving the BSE-free diploma Thursday.
Although a great achievement for Uruguay’s beef industry “it’s also a challenge for the future, to get things right and have everybody collaborating to ensure we retain that status”, added Mr. Muzio.
“As a net exporter of beef and other meats the new status is very helpful for Uruguay, particularly in Asian markets, because countries that are not recognised as BSE free must exclude certain animal tissues from all manufacturing” emphasized the Uruguayan delegate.
Dante Geymonat a former Uruguayan animal health expert and currently a FAO advisor who specializes in transmissible spongiform encephalitis said the recognition will not have immediate impacts, but “it’s essential to keep import controls on all risk materials plus ensuring the ban on feeding ruminants with meat meal is effectively enforced by officials and self enforced by farmers”.
Regarding foot and mouth disease the OIE office ratified Uruguay as free of FAM with vaccine together with Taiwán, China and Paraguay. However, the status of FAM without vaccine was cancelled for the majority of Brazilian states and for Argentina with the exception of South of parallel 42 (Patagonia).
Mr. Geymonat also confirmed that OIE officials will be auditing Panaftosa the South American regional FAM combat office in Brazil to help improve its performance.

1 Lawrence, Robert Z.(1996). Regionalism, Multilateralism, and Deeper Integration, The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC

2 Viner, Jacob (1950). The Customs Union Issue, New York; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

3 I look forward to reading : "Latin America's Political Economy of the Possible: Beyond Good Revolutionaries and free marketers", Javier Santiso, Chief Development Economist & Deputy Director OECD Development Centre, MIT Press Book (2006)

Añadir el documento a tu blog o sitio web


Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, nz, bse-free iconBanco Mundial Argentina, Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay

Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, nz, bse-free iconSÍntesis de los informes nacionales de argentina, brasil, colombia, uruguay, venezuela y chile

Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, nz, bse-free iconRelación "se está arrimando". Canciller Almagro. Uruguay y Argentina...

Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, nz, bse-free icon*Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay y Uruguay decidieron avanzar en un proceso...

Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, nz, bse-free iconMinisterio de Economía y Finanzas Uruguay Montevideo, Uruguay

Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, nz, bse-free iconEl Cono sur comprende los países de Chile, Argentina, Uruguay y Paraguay....

Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, nz, bse-free iconEscrito de respuesta de la república argentina al escrito de presentación...

Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, nz, bse-free iconDirección general de formación y desarrollo de docentes
«Índice de desarrollo humano» elaborado por la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (el cuarto entre los países latinoamericanos,...

Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, nz, bse-free iconFree trade summit

Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, nz, bse-free iconPresidente de la Sociedad Argentina de Medicina Antropológica, Asociación...


© 2015