Still, for a country like Mexico that is still struggling with issues of citizen security and rampant crime, many suggest that economic growth would have to start from the bottom, with more robust social programmes and safety nets, before the international community becomes too optimistic about economic and trade booms.

Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin America programme at the Wilson Center, calls Latin America “far behind” in developing policies that might leverage inclusive growth.

“There is not a sense of shared responsibility … when your social policy is remittance, when your lack of social policy is permitted,” she told reporters on Friday. The region, she said, needs “a widespread recognition of the role the private sector needs to play in paying taxes, improving government … [and] institutions.”

In a telephone interview with IPS, she noted that the U.S. relationship with Central America is likely to remain more focused on security concerns.

“There is a growing consensus in the development community that sustainable growth can’t and will not happen unless levels of violence are brought under control,” she told IPS.

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