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Fiscal Challenges in Latin America: Policy Measures for Sustainable & Inclusive Growth

June 27, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am

Major fiscal consolidation measures have been undertaken by Latin American countries in recent years, in an effort to reduce their deficits and accumulation of debt. Despite improvements in fiscal position throughout the region, the rate of inequality reduction has slowed, capital spending (in terms of GDP) has fallen to its lowest levels since 2007 and fiscal revenues remain insufficient to finance achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Amid an uncertain macroeconomic context and fiscal consolidation, this slowdown requires a fine-tuning of policy measures. In the event, the opening remarks were delivered by Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL). The discussion was moderated by Sanjeev Gupta, Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development, and the panelist were Nancy Birdsall, Senior Fellow and President Emeritus, Center for Global Development; Marcello Estevão, Global Director, Macroeconomics, Trade & Investment, World Bank; Eric Parrado Herrera, Chief Economist and General Manager, Research Department, Inter-American Development Bank and Jorge Roldos, Assistant Director, Western Hemisphere Department, International Monetary Fund. This event launches the new CEPAL Publication Fiscal Panorama of Latin America and the Caribbean, 2019, examining the role of tax policy in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The paper begins by describing the fiscal situation and evolution of public finances in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018. The publication analyses the challenges of taxing the digital economy, the constraints of domestic resource mobilization caused by fiscal incentives and how these incentives could, instead, be geared towards investment to foster sustainable and inclusive development.​ Chapter three looks at corrective taxes and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and chapter four focuses on tax expenditures as a public-policy instrument, assessing its evolution, magnitude and composition in an SDG context. The live stream of the event is available through this link. The publication is available through this link.