Central America: Pulling Together

Once known as "banana republics," five small nations of Central America-have a history of bad-neighborliness, with frequent border skirmishes and damaging trade barriers against one another's goods. But they are beginning to learn some important lessons of development through cooperation. Now grouped in a common market barely two years old, the five have lowered the barriers on a list of 1,000 goods ranging from farm products to automobile tires. Internal trade jumped 30% to $43.2 million last year, and new plastics, textile and chemical industries have sprung up to service a...

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