OBSTACLES TO CARIBBEAN-LATIN AMERICAN IN TEGRATION
It was noted earlier that the existing low level of trade between the Caribbean and Latin America is due in part to competing production. This applies both to primary commodities and light manufactures. The situation has been aggravated by trade barriers on both sides involving both high tariffs and non-tariffs barriers. Furthermore, as McIntyre has pointed out, it might not be easy for either side to ease current restrictions on imports of light manufactured goods especially on textiles and clothing. In Central America cotton fabrics and clothing were among the commodities accorded slower rates of liberalization in the General Treaty of Economic Integration and similar /treatment was extended to textiles in the programme of LAFTA.
But even if trade restrictions could be dismantled further problems would beset Caribbean- Latin American trade in the short run. In the first place, there would be the usual problems involved in breaking into a new market with different specifications and tastes. A tremendous promotional campaign would be called for. Second, high transport costs and in some cases absence of transport facilities would severely hamper the flow of trade. For example, communications with the Pacific coast in proximity to which most of the large Central American consuming centres are located are relatively underdeveloped. In South America even, Guyana which borders on Brazil is virtually cut off through lack of transport facilities from the large consuming centres in the south of that country. The markets of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay are similarly largely inaccessible. The transport problem which, as we have seen, also affects the pace of integration within Central and South America can be solved only in the long run through massive infra-structural investment by the countries concerned. It must be stressed, however, that the full potential for trade between the Caribbean and Latin America cannot be realized merely by removing tariff barriers and improving transportation facilities. This can be done only through a deliberate process of planning aimed at exploiting in a rational way the complementary resources of the areas. In the next section we discuss some institutional factor which have so far inhibited structural integration of the two regions.