PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
REPORT OF THE ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE
CARIBBEAN (ECLAC) TO THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON
March 31, 1997
I should like to refer to your letter of February 27, 1997, which unfortunately did not reach us until March 19, in which you told me about resolution AG/RES. 1349 (XXV-O/95) of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States and requested a new report on ECLAC activities related to implementation of the initiatives of the Summit of the Americas Plan of Action.
In this regard, I wish to inform you that, since our last report to the Permanent Council, ECLAC has taken part in eight of the working groups on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), prepared nine documents on issues related to the Summit agreements (four of them at the request of one of the working groups), and participated in four meetings of the Summit Implementation Review Group. It has also contributed to the preparatory work for the Summit Conference on Sustainable Development and served as coordinator of the OAS-IDB-ECLAC Tripartite Cooperation Committee.
ECLAC took part in the fourth, fifth, and sixth meetings of the Working Group on Smaller Economies, as well as two meetings of the Technical Group. The Commission prepared the document: "Internal policy measures to facilitate the integration of smaller economies into the FTAA" (LC/R.1641) for presentation at the fourth meeting (Barbados, July 1996). A revised version of this document was presented at the fifth meeting (Caracas, November 1996).
Prior to the fifth meeting of the Working Group on Smaller Economies, ECLAC convened a special meeting of the Technical Group in October 1996 to discuss the draft document "Technical Assistance Needs to Help the Smaller Economies Participate in the FTAA," prepared by SELA, and presented in Caracas. ECLAC also took part in the sixth meeting (Guyana, February 1997).
ECLAC has played an active role in the three meetings of the Working Group on Services. For the first meeting (Santiago, Chile, June 1996), it prepared the documents: "América Latina y el Caribe: Series Estadísticas sobre Comercio de Servicios 1980-1995" (Latin America and the Caribbean: Statistical Series on Trade in Services 1980-1995) (LC/L.946) and "El Acuerdo General sobre el Comercio de Servicios: Retos y Oportunidades para América Latina y el Caribe" (General Agreement on Trade in Services: Challenges and Opportunities for Latin America and the Caribbean) (LC/R.1588). For the second meeting (Santiago, Chile, December 1996), ECLAC prepared the document "Nota Bibliográfica sobre el Comercio de Servicios: Conceptos y Principios de Liberalizacion" (Bibliographical Note on Trade in Services: Concepts and Principles of Liberalization) (DOC.CEPAL/ALCA/GTS/001); the "Inventario de las Medidas que Afectan el Comercio de Servicios" (Inventory of Measures Affecting Trade in Services) (DOC.CEPAL/ALCA/GTS/003), which was based on the countries replies to a questionnaire; a note on the "Grado de Avance en la Implementación de la V Versión del Manual de Balanza de Pagos del Fondo Monetario Internacional" (Progress Made in Implementing the Fifth Version of the International Monetary Fund Balance of Payments Manual) (DOC.CEPAL/ALCA/GTS/002) and a "Propuesta de Curso/Seminario sobre los Servicios" (Proposal for a Course/Seminar on Services) (DOC.CEPAL/ALCA/GTS/004). For the third meeting, ECLAC prepared an addendum to the Inventory of Measures Affecting Trade in Services) (DOC.CEPAL/ALCA/GTS/003/Add.1).
ECLAC also took part in the three meetings of the Working Group on Competition Policy (May and August 1996 and February 1997, all in Lima), and made a substantive presentation on "Convergencia de las Políticas de Competencia en el Hemisferio Occidental" (Convergence of Competition Policies in the Western Hemisphere) in the seminar on competition policies and economic reform processes in Latin America, which preceded the second meeting. In addition, ECLAC convened a Meeting of Experts on Regional Competitiveness in Central America (Mexico, December 1996).
Moreover, ECLAC attended two meetings of the Working Group on Market Access (Washington, July 1996 and February 1997) as well as meetings of the Working Group on Standards and Technical Barriers to Trade (Washington, June 1996), the Working Group on Subsidies (Washington, July 1996) and the Working Group on Sustainable Development (Washington, November 1996). In addition, ECLAC took part in the trade vice-ministerials (Florianópolis, Brazil, September 1996, and Recife, Brazil, February 1997) and prepared the documents "NAFTA Implementation in the United States: The First Two Years" (LC/WAS/L.34) and "U.S. Barriers to Latin America and Caribbean Exports" (LC/WAS/L.36).
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that during the first six months of 1996, ECLAC served as coordinator of the OAS-IDB-ECLAC Tripartite Committee.
I trust that this inventory of activities meets the needs of the Permanent Council that you preside, and take this opportunity to present my compliments.
Ambassador Flavio Dario Espinal