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Report: The United States, Japan, and Latin America and the Caribbean

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The report serves as a guide for strengthening democracy through commitment to renewed economic growth and broad-based development.

Americas Society/Council of the Americas hosted a public program on Japan and the Western Hemisphere that focused on strengthening democracy and economic cooperation in the Americas. The insights of that program have been compiled into the report The United States, Japan, and Latin America and the Caribbean: Strengthening Democracy Through Economic Cooperation.

The program, “Japan, U.S., and Latin America Cooperation for the Free and Open International Order,” featured a keynote address by Maki Kobayashi, director general at the Latin America and Caribbean Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. The program also featured a panel discussion that included Naotaka Yamaguchi, chief representative at the Japan International Cooperation Agency; Alberto Bernal, chief emerging markets and global strategist at XP Investments; Jonathan C. Hamilton, partner at White & Case LLP; and Antonio Ortiz-Mena, senior vice president at Albright Stonebridge Group.

Key takeaways from this report:

  • Trade and investment supports democratic governance.
  • Opportunities exist for Latin America and the Caribbean to enter global value chains.
  • Trade integration can reduce poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Digital cooperation and integration are the keys to a prosperous future.

Beyond these topics, the report examines the current state of the global order in the context of ongoing geopolitical events. Russia’s invasion and war on the democratic sovereign nation of Ukraine at the beginning of 2022 rattled the foundation of an open and free world. Meanwhile, Latin America and the Caribbean is experiencing a democratic retreat and disruption that threatens to destroy its institutions and erase hard earned gains.

The pandemic continues to expose preexisting inequalities across Latin America and the Caribbean. Lost learning due to school closures and unreliable access to the internet during the pandemic will impact the region for years to come. Vaccine inequality is still depressing economic recovery in many parts of the region. Finally, the digital divide is holding back the region from fully participating in society and the global economy.

The report is intended to serve as a guide for public and private sector partners in the Americas and Japan on ways to strengthen democracy through economic cooperation based on shared values. Transformative trade and investment can support an open and free world where sustainable gains can be achieved by all partners.

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