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 3.9% GDP in 2015, and to further expand by 4.0% in 2016. 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

   ’16 GDP
(US $billion)

’16 GDP/Capita (US$)

’16 Pop.(million) Real GDP
(% Change)  
Inflation
(% Change)  
‘15 ‘16E ‘16F ‘15 ‘16E ‘16F
Latin America 9.517 15,617

626.7

-0.6 -1.4 -1.4 2.0 3.7 5.8
United States 17,980 56,300 321.7 2.6 1.6 2.2 0.1 0.5 1.7
Japan 4,658 38,200 129.9 1.2 1.0 1.0 0.8 0.5 0.1
China 19,511 14,300 1,367.5 6.9 6.7 6.3 0.4 2.0 2.3
Germany 3,842 47,400 80.9 2.0 1.6 1.6 0.7 0.6 0.8
United Kingdom 2,667 41,200 64.1 1.8 1.8 1.6 1.3 1.1 1.2
European Union 13,529 26,600 505.7 1.5 1.5 1.6 0.1 0.2 0.3
Eastern Europe 1,650 4,300 190.2 2.6 3.3 3.3 0.3 0.2 0.3
Asia Pacific 11,411 5,536 2,006.3 5.9 5.3 5.3 2.9 3.0 3.1
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 626.7 million ('15 E)
GDP Growth % 3.9 (‘15 F)
4.0 (‘16 E)
GDP 9.517 billion US$ ('15 E)
GDP per Capita 15,617 US$ ('16 E)
Inflation Rate (%) 3.7 (’15 E)
5.8 ('16 F)
Exports 847.3 billion US$ ('15 E)
Imports   927.3 billion US$ ('15 E)
E = Estimate F = Forecast
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