Latin America Business Opportunities

Successful Market Economies in Latin America

Latin AmericaAs an overall market, Latin America is identified by four major regional markets: Mexico, South America, Central America and the Caribbean.  It continues to be a major market opportunity for the U.S. with its exports to the region valued at over $300 billion per year.  High market growth opportunities continue to emerge in many industrial sectors through out Latin America.

In the world market, Latin America has had stable, real GDP performance for the past recent years and its purchasing power per capita has grown.  The region is expected to expand by 2.2% GDP in 2018. Although the slowdown that has occurred in more advanced economies is expected to have only a moderate effect in most Latin American countries, risks in the outlook still may exist.

Over the past several years, Latin American governments have taken advantage of a very favorable global environment, and have been able to respond to domestic and international economic fluctuations. More recently, global slowdown fears have weighed in on the region's financial markets with equities, currencies, and commodities being impacted.

Key economic comparatives relative to major countries and markets around the globe are summarized in the following table. (You can visit Consensus Economics and the IMF web sites for additional information on the economic outlook for Latin America and other countries and regions.)

Economic Comparatives

   ’17GDP
(US $billion)

’17GDP/Capita (US$)

’17Pop.(million) Real GDP
(% Change)  
Inflation
(% Change)  
‘16 ‘17E ‘18F ‘16 ‘17E ‘18F
Latin America 7.5316 8,272

645.6

-0.8 1.3 2.2 5.6 4.1 3.6
United States 18,561 56,810 321.4 1.5 2.6 2.3 2.6 2.1 1.7
Japan 4,936 37,930 127.0 0.8 1.3 1.7 0.3 1.1 0.9
China 11,470 8,250 1,415.0 6.7 6.9 6.8 1.9 1.8 2.0
Germany 3,470 43,940 81.4 1.9 2.0 2.5 1.7 1.7 0.8
United Kingdom 2,619 42,300 62.0 2.0 2.0 1.7 1.6 2.9 1.9
European Union 16,477 24,000 509.7 2.9 3.0 2.4 1.9 2.9 2.0
Eastern Europe 2,575 8,793 291.8 3.9 4.0 4.5 3.0 2.9 2.8
Asia Pacific 17,110 10,570 4,200.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 3.4 4.0 4.9
Source: Consensus Economics; IMF; World Bank     E = Estimate F = Forecast         

Latin America Free Trade Pacts and Agreements

The United States and countries throughout Latin America have put in place numerous trade agreements. (More info on U.S. Free Trade Agreements)

Chile alone claims to have more bilateral or regional trade agreements than any other country.  It has 60 such agreements (not all of them full free trade agreements), including with the European Union, Mercosur, China, India, South Korea, and Mexico.  Additionally, the country deepened its longstanding commitment to trade liberalization with the signing of a free trade agreement with the U.S., which took effect on 1 January 2004.

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Latin America Fast Facts

Population 645.6 million ('17 E)
GDP Growth %

-0.8 (‘16 E)
1.3 (‘17 E) 

2.1 ('18F)                

GDP 7.531 billion US$ ('16 E)
GDP per Capita 8,272 US$ ('17 E)
Inflation Rate (%) 5.6 (’16 E)
4.1 ('17 F)
Exports 816.0 billion US$ ('17 E)
Imports   818.1 billion US$ ('17 E)
E = Estimate F = Forecast
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