Washington, DC (BBN) – The World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on Tuesday welcomed an initiative launched by 12 countries in the Americas to promote free trade in the Western Hemisphere.
The “Pathways to Prosperity Initiative” was announced Thursday after leaders from Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru and the United States met in New York.
IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno and World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick hailed the initiative as a timely effort to defend Latin America’s hard-earned economic gains in the face of global financial instability. Trade has been a powerful tool for growth in this region, which has often relied on exports to recover from past crises, a world bank press statement said.
Under the initiative, countries will cooperate on building an open architecture for regional trade consistent with the global trading system, increasing opportunities for their citizens to benefit from expanded trade, exchanging best practices on labor and environmental standards and enforcement, and engaging the private sector and civil society to advance these goals.
BBN/SI/SS/AD-01October08-12:02 AM (BST)