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"(Reuters) - Latin American countries must boost investment in technology, skills and value-added industries in the face of a widening gap with faster-growing Asian economies, a United Nations agency said on Monday.

The UN's regional economic body for Latin America, ECLAC, said governments should provide incentives for investment in high-productivity, manufacturing industries rather than relying on booming, commodity prices to support economic growth.

Many economies in Latin America, a leading producer of soy, copper and grains, have thrived as a result of rising demand from China for their metals and energy exports. But ECLAC said diversification was vital to protect against external shocks and overcome high rates of poverty and inequality."

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