Colin Barry

Central America / Cross-National Regions (MOC, Monday, Week 9)


New model of regional economic cooperation: more than just free trade areas.
Regional strategy can: improve investment climate, expand available markets, drive better business environment, enable effective transnational clusters.
Particularly important for small countries with lots of natural disasters...

But, CACM in Central America fails:
-- Conceived to further import substitution agenda; all sorts of problems
-- Requires member countries to give up national sovereignty in impractical ways

Some progress with CAA, but still slow going/stalled:
-- Biggest successes: low-hanging fruit (investment promotion, coordinate tourism)
-- Cultural integrity across Central American nations? Not all it's cracked up to be; still huge disparities in economic development, policy goals, and motivation. AND unstable political landscape.
-- Degree of buy-in may vary --- Honduras doesn't get much out of the Central American Logistical Corridor.

Great potential for gains from strategizing with neighbors, but challenging to implement...