IMF Seminars, Conferences and Workshops
Edited by Markus Rodlauer and Alfred Schipke
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Central America has received growing attention as a region that is integrating successfully into the global economy. The Free Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA-DR) should provide an additional boost to this integration process. However, to maximize the benefits in terms of faster growth and poverty reduction, the region will need to press ahead with ambitious structural reforms to entrench macroeconomic stability and ensure an attractive environment for investment, while also stepping up regional cooperation in a number of areas.
This book forum on Central America: Global Integration and Regional Cooperation will look at these issues. The forum will be moderated by Charles Collyns, and will begin with short introductions to the study by its editors: Markus Rodlauer will provide an overview of the economic, social, and political context for policymaking in the region, followed by Alfred Schipke who will summarize the study's main findings regarding the economic implications of CAFTA-DR, fiscal policy issues, financial sector integration, and exchange rate regimes. The presentations will be followed by comments from H.E. Ambassador Salvador Stadthagen of Nicaragua and H. E. Ambassador Guillermo Castillo of Guatemala and by Peter Hakim, president of the Inter American Dialogue.
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Charles Collyns, Deputy Director of Western Hemisphere Department. He has a doctorate in Economics from Oxford University. He has worked at the IMF since 1981. He has held a range of positions including desk officer for Argentina, division chief for commercial debt restructuring, and resident representative in India. He was responsible for the Fund's surveillance work on Japan from 1997-2001, and on the United States from 2001-03. Since early 2004, he has been mission chief for Brazil. He is the author of a range of publications on international macro-economics, and recently co-edited "Post-Bubble Blues-How Japan Responded to Asset Price Collapse," "Managing Financial Crises-Recent Experience and Lessons for Latin America," and "Stabilization and Reform in Latin America."
Jose Guillermo Castillo Villacorta is the Ambassador of Guatemala to the United States of America. He previously served as minister (1999-2000) and vice minister of economy in charge of trade issues (1998-99). While serving as a delegate of the Ministry of Economy, he also coordinated and completed negotiations for a free trade agreement with Mexico (1996-2000). He has also served as director of the Business Council for the International Trade Negotiations. He is a Fulbright scholar and holds a master's degree in business administration from Northwestern University.
Salvador E. Stadthagen is the Ambassador of Nicaragua to the United States of America and the Ambassador of Nicaragua to Canada. The priorities of his mission include lobbying for ratification of the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement, CAFTA; the negotiation of a Free Trade Agreement with Canada; the promotion of investment to Nicaragua and the protection and promotion of the Nicaraguan community in the United States and Canada, communities which he considers fundamental assets for the development of Nicaragua.
Peter Hakim is the president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based center for policy analysis and exchange on Western Hemisphere affairs. Mr. Hakim writes and speaks widely on hemispheric issues, is regularly interviewed on radio and television, and has testified more than a dozen times before Congress. His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, and Financial Times.
Markus Rodlauer is a Senior Advisor in the Western Hemisphere Department. Mr. Rodlauer has over the past three years overseen the Department's work on Central American countries, among others. His Fund career has included assignments as the IMF's resident representative in Poland and the Philippines, mission chief in the Asian Department (China, Hong Kong, and Philippines); and extensive work on Latin America during the debt crises in the1980s. He is Austrian and holds degrees from Innsbruck University and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.
Alfred Schipke is Senior Economist in the Fund's Western Hemisphere Department, where his main task has been to lead the regional work on Central America. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Kiel Institute of World Economics. He has published a number of articles and books, holds a PhD in economics, and has taught international trade and finance at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. His research interest include issues related to economic integration and the linkage between macroecononomics and financial markets.