让拉丁美洲活起来  杰弗里·萨奇斯    哥伦比亚大学 经济学教授

拉丁美洲是个有着众多自然和社会优势的地方,正因为此,它缺少强劲的经济增长态势,便显得令人费解。这里自然资源十分丰富,有着广袤而肥沃的土地;健康状况也相对良好,而且所有的拉丁美洲国家都在解决文盲问题上取得了进展,大多数国家的扫盲率已经达到90%甚至更高。

而且,人口富裕率已经迅速下降,已经达到其他许多国家要今后几十年才能达到的人口比例。妇女的地位得到提高,女孩享有同等的接受教育的权利,女生的入学率甚至比很多国家的男孩入学率还高。拉丁美洲也许闻名于它的"大男子主义"文化,但现在,妇女已经越来越多地参与到工作中去,取得了重要的政治和社会地位。

拉丁美洲引以为荣的还有另外一个长期优势。大多数人都生活在海岸附近,这有利于进行国际贸易;而且大部分人都生活在城市,这又是另一个经济发展的优势。事实上,用国际标准来衡量,拉丁美洲并不贫穷,而是陷于中等收入范围, 介于世界最贫穷地方和北美、欧洲、东亚的高收入国家之间。

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