Economic Growth and Integration in Central America

Central America Tour, July 16 - 19, 2007—Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, and Costa Rica

See Table of Contents, Chapter I and ordering information of publication

This event is open to the public. For information on registration, please contact the local offices as provided under each location below.

There is much optimism about Central America's economic future, reflecting continuing political and economic stability and deepening global and regional integration. Particularly noteworthy are the implementation of the free trade agreement with the United States (CAFTA-DR), the prospects for the creation of a Central American customs union, and the forthcoming start of negotiations on an Association Agreement with the European Union.

Given the heightened interest in Central America, policymakers have the opportunity to make the region even more attractive for investment by accelerating reforms, with the ultimate objectives of achieving higher sustainable growth and tackling poverty. In addition, there is scope to make the region more resilient against adverse shocks, including those associated with the integration process itself.

This book forum on "Economic Growth and Integration in Central America" will address some of these issues. The IMF is proud to be joined by some of the region's leading educational and economic institutions to host seminars in Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama and Costa Rica to discuss how to advance growth and reform agendas that are so important for these countries. Events in the other Central American countries analyzed in the paper will also be scheduled in due course.

The book will be presented by Dominique Desruelle, chief of the Central America Division of the IMF; and by Alfred Schipke, regional resident representative for Central America.

The following is the agenda for this book forum tour throughout Central America:

Date and Time: Monday, July 16, 2007, 4:30 p.m. (local time)
Venue: Universidad Rafael Landivar, Campus Central Vista Hermosa III zona 16

Contact: Mynor Meza Duering, (502) 2253-5978,

El Salvador
Date and Time: Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 12:00 p.m. (local time)
Venue: Escuela Superior de Economia y Negocios, La Libertad, El Salvador

Contact: Zoraida de Ventura, (503) 2234-9390,

Date and Time: Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 5:30 p.m. (local time)
Venue: Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá, Salón Horacio Alfaro

Contact: Tania Guillén, (507) 207-3400 extensión 118

Costa Rica
Date and Time: Thursday, July 19, 2007, 9:00 a.m. (local time)
Venue: Incae Business School. 2 Km al Oeste del Vivero Procesa # 1, La Garita, Alajuela, Apartado 960-4050

Contact: Isabel Solís, (506) 437-2176,


Dominique Desruelle is Chief of the Central America Division in the Western Hemisphere Department. During the past two years, he has coordinated the Department's regional work in Central America and led bilateral missions to Costa Rica and El Salvador. His Fund career has included assignments in the Policy Development and Review Department, with a primary focus on surveillance policy, and the European II Department, working on several transition economies. He is French and holds degrees from Princeton University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Ecole Centrale de Paris.

Alfred Schipke is the Regional Resident Representative for Central America in Guatemala. In this capacity he has co-led the Western Hemisphere Department's analytical work on Central America, fostered the dialogue with the Central American authorities on regional issues, and expanded the Fund's regional outreach activities. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Kiel Institute of World Economics. He holds a PhD in economics, and has taught international trade and finance at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. His current research interest include issues related to economic integration and linkages between macroeconomics and financial markets.


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