The First Latin America and Caribbean Summit for Global Taxation, held on 28 July 2023, aimed to unify the region's voices on taxation. However, the event fell short of expectations. It showed significant limitations, such as the need for binding agreements, discrepancies between OECD and non-OECD countries, and a lack of ambition for bilateral and free trade agreement reforms. This article analyses the Summit's outcomes in light of the challenges of the energy transition.
With the recent formalisation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has the opportunity to access the world's largest economic bloc. It is an opportunity and an alternative for LAC blocs to coordinate and use this new market as a catapult for recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
However, in the two centuries of LAC's history, repeated efforts at economic integration and multilateral cooperation have failed to materialise into a project. Integration has been truncated by a combination of internal factors such as the conflict between the primary-export and industrial sectors and the principle of due obedience that obliges Pan-Americanism.
Ecuador is the most recent example of US interference in the internal politics of the region's countries.
The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) indicates a strengthening of regionalism in Asia while in the West it is in decline.
By the end of the last decade, the trade order and multilateralism were already being questioned. Some elements caused the crack in the globalization process in the West. The trade war between China and the United States; the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union; the emergence of populist and conservative governments in Europe of a nationalist nature, among others.
Latin America is not a region free of similar processes. The Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), one of the most important integration projects that has been developed in the region, shows slight setbacks in its integration process.
In the midst of the turbulence caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the world's largest free trade agreement (FTA) was signed. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is made up of 15 countries. The new region represents a third of the world's GDP and population and 29% of world exports.
Within the treaty, the following issues are addressed: trade, investment, financial and digital services, intellectual property and technological cooperation. Likewise, it is limited to a trade treaty and not an economic integration process, with free circulation of factors.
China wins a huge trade agreement that plants it as the new face of multilateralism, in view of the abandonment of it by the United States. International cooperation has taken a new dynamic with China at the forefront with long term regional planning.