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This document analyses the past dynamics and the potential of economic growth in Latin America, using alternative methodological perspectives. Applying them to the regional situation at the end of the 1990-2002 economic cycle, the respective methods are used to review the medium term determinants of growth in the region. The results obtained from the empirical investigation point, inter alia, at the role of exchange rate in determining short-term competitiveness. On the supply side, structural policies should look at strengthening this external competitiveness by increasing the rate of incorporation of technical progress, particularly in the tradable sectors.