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Conference to explore trade integration in Americas

(Co-organizer of this conference is Professor Jeffrey Bergstrand, department of finance)

by Dennis Brown and Kelly Roberts, Notre Dame News and Information

September 1, 2005

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Scholars and policymakers will convene Sept. 9 and 10 (Friday and Saturday) at the University of Notre Dame to discuss the Free Trade Agreement for the Americas (FTAA) and other similar pacts, and to develop guidelines for the appropriate level of future trade integration in Latin America.

Titled “The Sequencing of Regional Economic Integration: Issues in the Breadth and Depth of Economic Integration in the Americas,” the conference will be held at the Mendoza College of Business under the sponsorship of Mendoza, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, The Coca-Cola Company, and the Inter-American Development Bank.

In light of the breakdown in progress of the FTAA, the conference aims to provide a forum for scholars and policymakers to consider better models for the process of economic integration.

Although there are many examples of regional economic integration from around the world, national and international policymakers still lack a solid understanding of the process by which a region decides to move toward broader and deeper integration.

Conference participants hope to better frame economic and political issues and develop a better sense of which agreements should be pursued. Ideally, it is hoped the conference will lead to a set of guidelines to aid the process of economic integration.

The conference will include contributed papers and discussions by prominent academic trade economists and political scientists as well as speeches and panel discussions by prominent policymakers from the International Monetary Fund, Inter-American Development Bank, WorldBank and other institutions.

Conference organizers include Jeffrey Bergstrand, associate professor of finance at Notre Dame and a Kellogg faculty fellow; Antoni Estevadeordal, principal economist in the Trade and Integration Department of the Inter-American Development Bank; and Simon Evenett, professor of international economics at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and a non-resident fellow of the Brookings Institution.

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More information is available at http://kellogg.nd.edu/econconf2005.html or http://www.nd.edu/~jbergstr/sequencing.htm.


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