#CouncilARG 2020: Planning for a Sustainable Economic Recovery

Latin America and the Caribbean have a moral obligation to “build back a better society” after the pandemic, said IDB Invest’s James Scriven.


  • Joyce Chang, Managing Director & Chair of Global Research, J.P. Morgan
  • James Scriven, CEO, IDB Invest
  • Susan Segal, President & CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas (moderator)

On the whole, Latin America’s financial sector is in a “very strong situation” with well-protected and liquid banks, said James Scriven on a 2020 Latin American Cities Conferences: Buenos Aires panel. Economic recovery, meanwhile, will be challenging, said Joyce Chang, who noted that J.P. Morgan projects that Uruguay is the only Latin America country that will see a 2021 recovery that equals the 2020 contraction. Looking at Argentina specifically, Chang said J.P. Morgan views Argentina’s debt renegotiation as a “step in the right direction,” while adding, “It is necessary but not sufficient, though, to stabilize the macroeconomic outlook.” She said the marketplace will be watching how discussions between the Fernández administration and the IMF materialize and what the medium-term framework will be, while investors will be looking for credible fiscal consolidation to stabilize the economy.

In closing, Scriven highlighted the importance of taking advantage of the health crisis to improve the lives of people around the region. “When a hurricane goes through one of our member countries and destroys houses and infrastructure, it gives an opportunity to build back better. Latin America and the Caribbean—and the world—have the moral obligation to build back a better society,” he said.