Latin America and the Caribbean 2030: Future Scenarios

Marczak, Jason;
Engelke, Peter;
Bohl, David;
Dec 2016
Strategic foresight is critical to moving a country or region in the right direction. Leaders nearly everywhere in the world are overwhelmed by the crush of events, focusing their attention on the present rather than thelong term. Latin America and the Caribbean is no different. But complacency in thinking and planning for the future can no longer be the status quo. At a moment of profound regional and global transformation, the time is now to seize on policy directions that are most likely to take the region in the right direction. While Latin America and the Caribbean has many challenges, through foresight and strategy it could boost its position in the
world -as Asia has done already. This publication makes the case for doing just that. Latin America has made incredible economic and political progress over the past decade. The prolonged commodity boom in the 2000s fueled higher growth rates than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) average and generated a dramatic drop in the poverty rate and a huge explosion of the middle class. Today, 288 million, or one in three people, are considered middle class. At the same time, with a few notable exceptions, democratic institutions are stronger, with universal suffrage and regular elections now largely the norm. The key question for the future is whether the region can maintain momentum, particularly with China's slowing growth. The end of the commodity boom exposed underlying structural problems in Latin America and the Caribbean. Fiscal and institutional concerns, as well as other social and economic questions, were laid bare. Not only do the next nearly fifteen years require us to solve lingering issues that remain from the mid-teens, but a new direction must be charted so the region can maximize its inherent advantages and best compete in a rapidly changing world.