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Kathleen White

Domestic support is essential to the successful implementation and maintenance of sound macroeconomic policies and structural reforms. But how do governments convince citizens of longer-term benefits when short-term sacrifices are involved? Legislators and journalists from six Central American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, plus the Dominican Republic—joined IMF officials on May 18-20 to discuss the region’s policy priorities and the role legislatures and the media play in shaping public debate and in building understanding of the trade-offs that policymakers confront. Also on the agenda was the importance of greater regional integration and cooperation to Central America’s ability to compete successfully in the global economy.