The Seventh RFM Meeting took place in Lima on October 8, 2015. The debate among Ministers focused on the challenges of fiscal consolidation given the slowing growth in the region, which is facing decreasing external demand – in particular in China – low commodity prices, and increasing financial pressures in view of the imminent normalization of monetary policy in the United States. The Ministers emphasized the need to undertake growth-oriented fiscal policy within a strong fiscal framework, while adopting structural reforms, promoting greater export diversification, and broader regional integration. They also underscored the importance of greater investment in infrastructure with increased private sector participation, through public-private partnerships and with adequate risk management.
The Sixth RFM Meeting was held in Washington, DC on October 8, 2014. The discussion among Ministers centered on the implications of the deceleration in global demand on the economies and trade flows in the Americas, as well as on new frontiers for regional integration, in particular on investments and regulatory reforms that can best contribute to a deep integration agenda, trade facilitation, and the support to participation in global and regional value chains. Also discussed were issues regarding integration in new areas, such as energy, finance and innovation.
The Fifth RFM Meeting took place in Washington, DC, on October 9, 2013. It was chaired by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit of Colombia. The discussion among Ministers focused on the macroeconomic challenges facing the region in view of the normalization of the Fed’s monetary policy and the expected economic slowdown in China and other emerging markets. The Ministers also touched upon the policy options and reforms to address inequality, informality and low productivity in the region, and the need for a policy mix to move forward on these three fronts.
The Fourth RFM Meeting took place in Calgary, Canada, on March 25-26, 2011. As a follow-up to the discussions held during the Third Meeting, the Ministers manifested an interest in pursuing an in-depth, outcome-oriented discussion of issues related to the integration and cooperation agenda, especially the returns of complementarity between hardware and software integration investments, and in focusing on concrete implementable measures.
The Third RFM Meeting took place in Lima, Peru, on May 27-28, 2010. The debate on current issues focused on the global financial architecture, as the global economy started to recover from the previous year’s crisis. In terms of structural issues, the Ministers discussed the actions needed to promote the integration of physical infrastructure and the reduction of intra-regional trade costs, as agreed during the Second Meeting, in order to strengthen the region’s competitiveness in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
The Second RFM Annual Meeting took place in Viña del Mar, Chile, on July 3, 2009. As the global financial environment continued to deteriorate, Ministers discussed the lingering impact of the crisis on their economies and the region. In terms of structural concerns, the Meeting reviewed the main policy issues identified as priorities in the First Meeting, especially in the areas of infrastructure investment and energy efficiency, while also providing an opportunity for Ministers to further discuss mechanisms to facilitate policy coordination at the regional level, as well as to increase the provision of regional public goods.
The First RFM Annual Meeting took place in Cancun, Mexico, on June 23-24, 2008. Against the backdrop of the global economic and financial crisis, Finance Ministers focused the discussions on the rise of food and fuel prices, which was having a dual negative impact on regional economies: an upward pressure on inflation, and a disproportionate impact on the poor. In terms of structural issues, the Ministers discussed the need to strengthen the region’s image as a solid and attractive region to invest, while balancing the expected growth slowdown against ongoing inflation pressures and a continuous effort to reduce poverty.