Read in: Spanish

Latin America | Food and Agricultural Trade in the New Policy Environment: How can WTO members support economic recovery and resilience?

November 23, 2020 9:30 am - 10:30 am EST

(Open to public)

Latin America twitter card

The coronavirus outbreak has imperilled progress on tackling global hunger and malnutrition under the framework set out under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its impacts on trade in food and farm goods. At the same time, the farm sector is under increasing pressure to respond to new environmental challenges—especially those associated with climate change. With the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) next ministerial conference postponed due to the pandemic, both the substance and process of talks in Geneva on updating the global trade rulebook have been affected amid ongoing tensions between major economies. As governments revisit their priorities in this new context, it is important that they engage with different constituencies in their regions and beyond to ensure that negotiating strategies reflect an inclusive vision of public policy goals, one that can contribute to economic recovery and improve resilience to future food system shocks.

Although the pandemic has had a significant effect on economies in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, agricultural production and trade have been less affected. Trade plays an important role as a mitigation strategy of potential consumption disruptions and/or loss of export capacities for this heterogeneous region. Some countries are net food importers while others are net food exporters; some produce many value-added goods while others primarily staple goods. Investing in infrastructure, promoting regional integration,  having a stable multilateral trade system, and opening new market opportunities will be critical for the region’s economic recovery.

This event was organized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the International Institute For Sustainable Development (IISD)

You can read a related blog Policy seminar: Promoting recovery and resilience for Latin America’s agrifood industry

See the video recording of this event here

This was  the second of a series of events on the same topic, each with a regional perspective. The events will cover Africa, Asia, and Latin America. For more information on the Regional Series of Dialogues check out this page


  • Valeria Piñeiro, Senior Research Coordinator, IFPRI


  • Eugenio Diaz Bonilla, Head of the Latin America and the Caribbean unit, IFPRI
  • Manuel Otero, Director General, IICA 
  • Gloria Abraham Peralta, WTO, Costa Rican Ambassador to the WTO in Geneva and Chair of the negotiations on Agriculture. Member of the IICA Advisory Council for Food Security in the Americas   
  • Flavio Bettarello, Deputy Secretary for Trade and International Relations, Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply (MAPA)
  • Bosco de la Vega, President of the National Agricultural Council of México (CNA)