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When President Obama announced a change in diplomatic relations with Cuba in December 2014, it was natural that the Sixth Federal Reserve District would have a strong interest in this new policy. As the regional executive for the Atlanta Fed's Miami Branch, I work closely with the Americas Center. We found ourselves in a unique position to provide collaborative opportunities to assess the changing landscape of U.S.-Cuba relations. For those of us who are actively engaged with communities affected by this change, the Americas Center has served as an important resource.

In 2015, the Americas Center was fully engaged not only with the change in U.S.-Cuba relations but with the economic, political, and financial conditions throughout the Americas, and we provided important input on developments in Latin America to both internal and external constituents. This Annual Review describes how the Atlanta Fed is responding to emerging trends in the region.

The following is a highlight of achievements in 2015 that enabled the Americas Center to meet its mission successfully.

  • Through the Regional Economic Information Network (REIN) in Miami, we held a roundtable on Cuba featuring academics, legal and accounting professionals, and key business executives to discuss the opening of U.S.-Cuba ties and the policy challenges ahead. A 2016 follow-up meeting will focus on U.S. policy developments since the December 2014 announcement.
  • The Americas Center held a series of policy and research workshops on a range of topics, bringing thought leadership to key policy and regulatory issues that are of vital interest to our Bank's mission.
  • The Retail Payments Office continued to work with partners throughout the globe to promote the International Payments Framework.
  • The Sixth District's International Cash Unit made significant contributions to System risk management and worked with central banks throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • International Supervision/Country Risk & Foreign Bank Analysis (FBO) staff participated in three risk-focused supervisory colleges for global and regional foreign banking organizations from Spain and Latin America with important operations in the Sixth District.

As 2016 brings new challenges and opportunities, the Americas Center will build upon these accomplishments.

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