The 7th edition of the International Economic Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean will take place on 5 June in Paris.

It provides an opportunity to discuss challenges and share solutions regarding sustainable economic development in the region.

The economic slowdown that began in Latin America in 2010 is continuing.

According to preliminary data, the region’s economy grew by slightly over 1% in 2014 (compared with 2.5% in 2013 and 2.9% in 2012), less than the OECD average for the first time in ten years.

In 2015, growth is expected to reach a feeble 1%.

These developments will be driven by the less favourable international climate of the past five years, resulting from lower commodity prices (especially for oil, metals and minerals), and the economic slowdown in China.

Education, skills and innovation are key areas through which more Latin American countries may be able to escape the middle-income trap and strengthen the region’s emerging middle class.

Improvements to the stock and quality of education and skills, together with a stable macroeconomic context and an innovation-friendly environment, determine countries’ capacity to direct their growth models towards higher value-added activities.