The 2nd Steering Group Meeting of the Regional Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean (LACRP) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was held on 7th June 2021, with the participation of the Executive Director of the EU-LAC International Foundation, Dr Adrián Bonilla. The meeting had two main purposes: 1) to generate a first approach and exchange of Latin American and Caribbean countries with missions to the OECD and the new Secretary-General, Mr Mathias Cormann; and 2) to inform on the developments of the OECD's Latin American and Caribbean regional programme.
Among the most relevant points discussed during the meeting, it is worth highlighting that participants emphasised the different challenges faced by the region in terms of health system infrastructure, post-pandemic economic recovery, social protection and fiscal situation. In this regard, the countries of the region face the challenge of consolidating health systems capable of incorporating sufficient health measures and vaccination programmes to face the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, there is concern about how to achieve a green, inclusive and resilient economic recovery in a context where there are low levels of fiscal space capable of financing political, social and economic reforms.
In the face of these challenges, however, the OECD, together with various international organisations, including the EU-LAC International Foundation, has been working in recent years with 14 countries in the region on various regional and country projects to provide comprehensive policy analysis and recommendations. Among the regional projects, it is worth highlighting the "Latin American Economic Outlook" and the "International Economic Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean", among others. At the country level, the "Multidimensional Reviews" projects that have been carried out in Peru, Panama, Uruguay, and are expected to be carried out in the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and El Salvador, as well as the "Post COVID-19 recovery" project in Panama and Paraguay, and the project on "Internationalisation of the Region and Job Creation" in Argentina, Chile and Colombia. Finally, the II Ministerial Summit on Governance is expected to be held in El Salvador on 8 and 9 December this year under the title "Improving integrity and the fight against corruption to regain the trust of citizens".