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 exports to the region valued at over $300 billion per year. High market growth opportunities are emerging 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. Latin American and the Caribbean is expected to expand by 1.3% GDP in 2014, and to further expand to about 2.2% in 2015. 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 able to respond to domestic and international economic fluctuations. More recently, global slowdown fears are starting to weigh 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 tables. (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

   ’14 GDP
(US $billion)

’14 GDP/Capita (US$)

’14 Pop.(million) Real GDP
(% Change)  
Inflation
(% Change)  
‘13 ‘14E ‘15F ‘13 ‘14E ‘15F
Latin America 5,425 7,114 603.4 2.7 1.3 2.2 1.5 0.3 1.5
United States 16,768 53,001 319.7 2.2 2.2 3.1 2.1 1.4 1.5
Japan 4,898 36,654 126.4 0.2 1.5 0.6 0.7 2.0 2.2
China 9,151 11,868 1,357.4 8.0 7.4 7.1 1.7 1.8 2.1
Germany 3,730 43,475 80.5 0.4 2.0 2.2 2.0 2.1 2.1
United Kingdom 2,687 36,208 63.1 0.5 0.7 2.7 1.0 2.7 2.7
European Union 13,529 26,600 505.7 0.5 0.7 0.6 1.9 1.8 1.9
Eastern Europe 1,650 4,300 190.2 0.1 1.5 1.6 0.5 1.2 0.5
Asia Pacific 11,411 5,536 2,006.3 1.2 6.5 6.2 3.6 2.0 2.0
Source: Consensus Economics; IMF     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 603.4 million (2014)
GDP Growth % 1.3 (‘14 E)
2.2 (‘15 F)
GDP 5,725 billion US$
GDP per Capita 7,114 US$
Inflation Rate (%) 1.3 (’14 E)
2.2 ('15 E)
Exports 370.9 (’12) billion US$
Imports   370.8 (’12) billion US$
E = Estimate F = Forecast
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