Skip to Georgetown Americas Institute Full Site Menu Skip to main content
October 11, 2022

Global Trade at A Crossroads: Perspectives from Latin America

A Conversation with Anabel González, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization

Showing the Global Trade at A Crossroads: Perspectives from Latin America Video

The global economy is experiencing significant changes, bringing new challenges and opportunities for Latin America and the Caribbean. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and other geopolitical tensions, there was already a debate about the extent to which the world economy had been disrupted and entered a new phase of deglobalization, with important policy implications for governments across the region. Against this backdrop, economic leaders from around the world met in Geneva in June 2022 for the 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), where they agreed to a package of trade deals addressing topics such as health, food security, e-commerce, and WTO reform. As leaders around the world explore new avenues to stimulate economic recovery and prosperity by adjusting their trade and industrial policy toolkits or promoting nearshoring strategies, serious global threats—such as climate change and future pandemics—remain a high priority in the international cooperation agenda.

The Latin America and the Caribbean region faces important challenges and opportunities navigating this new global environment and contentious geopolitics with its most important economic partners. What policies should the region explore to face these headwinds? The Georgetown Americas Institute (GAI) is welcomed Anabel González, deputy director-general of the World Trade Organization, for a discussion on economic challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean and the effects that global trade will have on the region. The discussion was moderated by Antoni Estevadeordal with introductory remarks from CAF's Corporate Vice President of Infrastructure Antonio Silveira and closing remarks from GAI Founding Director Alejandro Werner.

This event will be livestreamed on Youtube .


Anabel González (Costa Rica) has served as World Trade Organization deputy director-general since June 2021. González is a renowned global expert on trade, investment, and economic development with a proven managerial track record in international organizations and the public sector. In government, Gonzalez served as minister of foreign trade of Costa Rica as well as special ambassador and chief negotiator, vice-minister of trade, and director-general for trade negotiations. She also worked as director-general of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE). González served at the World Bank as senior director of the Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness, the WTO as director of the agriculture and commodities division, and as senior consultant with the Inter-American Development Bank. More recently, González has worked as a non-resident senior fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, where she hosted the virtual series “Trade Winds,” and as senior advisor to the Boston Consulting Group. González obtained her master's degree from Georgetown Law with the highest academic distinction and has published extensively and lectured across the world on trade, investment, and economic development.

Antoni Estevadeordal has held several senior executive positions at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in a career of more than 25 years in Washington, DC. Most recently he was IDB representative in Europe, based in Brussels, where he led IDB’s relationship and resource mobilization with all European stakeholders and European institutions. Previously, he headed the IDB Migration Initiative, responsible for implementing innovative blended-finance projects to respond to the migration crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean. For more than a decade he was manager of the IDB Integration and Trade Sector, supervising a lending operational portfolio and technical assistance in more than 20 countries. He also coordinated IDB’s trade policy and integration research agenda, as well as several public-private strategic initiatives and inter-institutional partnerships. He has expertise in international development and development finance, regional integration and international cooperation, trade policy and investment regimes, migration policy, and regional and global public goods. Estevadeordal has published widely in major journals and authored several books. He has been a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings Institution and member of the WEF Global Council on the Future of Logistics. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in economics from the University of Barcelona.

Antonio H. Pinheiro Silveira is corporate vice president of infrastructure of CAF - Development Bank of Latin America. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He was the deputy chief of Economic Advice of the Ministry of Planning, secretary of Economic Monitoring of the Ministry of Finance and minister of the Secretariat of Ports of the Government of Brazil. He participated in directories of public and private companies, which include Caixa Económica Federal, Vale S.A. (Fiscal Council) and Banco do Nordeste. He worked as executive director for Brazil at the World Bank and the IDB.

Alejandro Werner is the founding director of the Georgetown Americas Institute and a non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute. He recently completed almost nine years as director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the International Monetary Fund. Prior to that appointment, he was undersecretary of finance and public credit in Mexico’s Finance Ministry and held several positions in that ministry and the Central Bank. He also taught at leading universities in Mexico, Spain, and the United States. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. in economics from ITAM.