Joint work by Martin Obaya and Ernesto Stein analyzes Argentina's experience with the Mesas Sectoriales (or sectoral roundtables), a public-private dialogue instrument deployed during the Macri administration, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Production. After an unsuccessful first attempt during which they did not garner the necessary political support, the mesas sectoriales became a key instrument of public policy at the sector level. Their objective was to identify the main obstacles to the development of specific sectors –such as missing or inadequate regulations, missing public inputs, lack of coordination across public sector agencies, etc-- and quickly move from dialogue and diagnosis into action, coordinating the public sector response in order to provide the necessary solutions. After discussing where the mesas sectoriales fit within the broader scope of productive development policies, we analyze their main characteristics and participants, as well as the key areas of action: simplification, quality and internationalization, and labor issues. We discuss some of the ingredients that made them successful, and extract a few key policy lessons.
About the speaker: Ernesto Stein is Principal Economist at the Inter-American Development Bank’s Research Department. He has previously been the IDB’s Regional Economic Advisor in the Country Department of Belize, Central America, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic, and a Growth Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for International Development. He has published extensively on issues of international trade and integration, foreign direct investment, productive development policies, institutional economics and political economy. A native of Argentina, he holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.