In recent years, Latin America has undergone an economic resurgence. The region's economies fared relatively well during the recent global economic crisis, and the region has enjoyed a period of increasing prosperity as concerns about risks in the global economy have focused on Europe and the United States.
As Latin America's economies have grown in recent years, so have their ties to the Sixth Federal Reserve District. The Atlanta Fed's Country Risk and Foreign Banking Organization (FBO) Analysis Unit is actively engaged with regulatory and banking sector counterparts in the region as part of its supervisory and outreach responsibilities. FedGlobal® ACH Payments delivers a range of low-cost and efficient cross-border payments, the Miami Branch provides cash services to 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and economists in the Atlanta Fed's Research Department are in contact with colleagues at central banks throughout the hemisphere as they develop new analytical and forecasting tools.
We have much to learn from the region as it faces the challenges of further economic and financial-sector development. I experienced this firsthand in 2011 when I visited the region and engaged with my counterparts in Lima and São Paulo to learn about microenterprise in Latin America. Indeed, the advances in the region's burgeoning microenterprise sector provide many lessons for the United States.
This past year was a successful one for the Americas Center. We share some of the high points of the center's outreach and other initiatives in this Annual Review. We held a successful consumer banking conference in Miami, "Strengthening the Financial Safety Net in Emerging Economies," and we cohosted with the University of Miami's Center for Hemispheric Policy and the World Affairs Council a policy roundtable, moderated by Atlanta Fed President and CEO Dennis Lockhart, on Latin America's economic challenges. A major highlight of 2011 was President Lockhart's visit to Santiago, Chile, and São Paulo, Brazil, where he met with central bank colleagues, bankers, regulators, and students. I invite you to read on (and check out our website) for more details of the year's accomplishments.
As we look ahead to 2012, the Americas Center will be involved in a range of initiatives that are closely aligned with our mission to support the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's responsibilities in key supervisory, financial, and economic matters related to the Americas. We welcome your input on initiatives and invite you to contact us with your thoughts, ideas, and proposals for programs.