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By Shahid Javed Burki, Sri-Ram Aiyer, Rudolf Hommes

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Extra resources for Annual World Bank Conference on Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1996: poverty and inequality, proceedings of a conference held in Bogotá, Colombia

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It will focus on trade, both emerging trends in the region's imports and exports, and the impact of organizational changes that are taking place. Page 9 Uruguay is an appropriate place to discuss this subject, After all, the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations resulted in many fundamental changes in international commerce and the way nations trade. We will take stock of the implications of these changes for the region of Latin America and the Caribbean in our conference in Uruguay next year. Thank you very much.

Fifth and finally, we believe that the dismantling of the populist state would result in the creation of a new type of state. What is required is a fundamental change in the role of governmentfrom being an owner and operator to being a policymaker and a regulator. The reformed state would work closely with the private sector to develop a competitive, outward-looking, and employment-generating economy. Let me now turn more specifically to the theme of this conference: the prospects for reducing poverty and improving equality in Latin America and the Caribbean.

2 But this is, before all, the result of a concomitant 10 percent drop in GDP per capita for the whole region, and must thus be analyzed in the first place as the negative social effect of a major recession, even though the cost of this recession in terms of poverty would have been less pronounced if, other things being the same, the initial distribution of income in Latin American countries had been more egalitarian and if efficient safety nets against extreme poverty had been put into place with enough time.

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