The executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, says that the private sector – and chambers of commerce in particular – will play a key role in the economic recovery of the region from the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

In her remarks at a virtual meeting held recently, Bárcena indicated that the pandemic has revealed and amplified the region’s structural gaps, such as inequality and low productivity.

“The current crisis will be longer and deeper than expected, and because of the uncertainty that it creates, it will take several years to be able to recover. If we consider the average rate of growth of the past decade, of 1.8 per cent, regional GDP [gross domestic product] will only return to 2019 levels in 2025,” she explained.