Business & Economy

Mexico partners with India for social progress in Latin America

New Delhi, May 23 (EFE).- Learning from the experience of South Asia, raising social spending and replacing the extractive model with another based on industrial production, would reduce poverty in Latin America, according to a book published by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and written by the renowned Indian economist, Santosh Mehrotra.

‘Políticas sociales y económicas para reducir la pobreza en América Latina’ (Social and economic policies to reduce poverty in Latin America) is a 265-page book about the steps that led South Asia to become “the factory of the world” and calls for Latin America to design a roadmap that helps the region to develop socially and economically.

Among these challenges, the book, also published with the support of the University of Guadalajara, underlines the reduction of dependence on the extractive economy, the increase of fiscal capacity, greater confidence in domestic banks and an increase in spending on health and education.

“There is a new focus on domestic manufacturing capacity, even in the United States, after Covid. But we are not seeing that policy shift in Latin America. This is a problem,” Mehrotra told EFE during the launch of his book in New Delhi.

“Even after the global economic crisis of 2008, 100 countries have adopted industrial policies, but most Latin American countries have not,” added Mehrotra, who specified that he did not intend to teach this region lessons, but that India could also learn from the mistakes that led to such inequality.

Mexico’s ambassador to India, Federico Salas, underlined to EFE that that the question “is not so much to receive lessons from India, but to learn what it is that they have done well, what they haven’t done so well, what have been the best practices (and) what measures have worked.”

“Ultimately we are all pursuing very similar goals such as poverty reduction, more equitable human development. In that sense, we can learn from each other,” Salas said.

Mehrotra’s book, which is freely accessible, is a revision of his work ‘Eliminating Human Poverty: Macroeconomic and Social Policies for Equitable Growth’ originally published in London in 2007, and for which the UNAM soon showed interest for a translation into Spanish, said the economist.

However, the course of fifteen years and global factors such as the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008 have almost completely changed a book from which its author draws a pessimistic conclusion for the future of Latin America.

“What I find in the intervening 15 years is that the tragedy of Latin America continues where it was 15 years ago. There was very little learning,” lamented Mehrotra, underlining how the region he first visited in 1994, when Mexico was shaken by a severe economic crisis, continues to make the same mistakes. EFE


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