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The Chinese Debt Crisis – Domino Effect On Latin America

The Chinese Debt Crisis – Domino Effect On Latin America

China today is much more than South America’s second largest customer. China is the largest source of soft loans to these governments. With growth slowing, skyrocketing municipal debt will soon lead to a fiscal crisis. On December 30th 2013, a long awaited report published by China’s National Audit Office confirmed the fears of many – [...]

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From Growth to Prosperity

It’s a good time to talk about Latin America. Markets are again moving in its favor. Commodity prices fell by 3.6 percent in the first week of January, against the lackluster December 2013. But they bounced back by 10.7 percent between January 9 and the end of February to reach a 12-month high. Countries like [...]

Source: AlixPartners Analysis

Reversal of Fortunes in Latin America

Over the last 10 years, fortune has smiled upon exporters of natural resources. In Latin America, countries in Central America, the Caribbean and México, all tied traditionally to the U.S. economy, have grimaced with envy as investment dollars went to South America, whose economic motor is China. But softening commodity prices, a resurgent U.S. economy [...]

This is what 2014 will look like

This is what 2014 will look like

2014 looks good for Latin America. The region will grow by 3.5 percent, a touch better than last year. This year’s seven presidential elections won’t affect this outlook and the region’s political scenario shows no signs of major changes or extreme radical movements. There might be some protests from the new middle class, who will [...]

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A new angle for a story

Over the past three months, I have had the marvelous privilege of speaking with several dozen of the most important businessmen and political leaders in Latin America. I would say that even after years of being in this position of mixing economics and business with information, it was the most interesting intellectual pilgrimage I have [...]

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2014 – Rising Investor Risk in South America

Since protests in Brazil took its leaders and the world by surprise in June 2013, many have wondered if the political frustrations of Latin America’s largest nation might soon spread elsewhere. The safe bet is yes. There are four worrisome trends at play in the region that together foretell a period of rising political risk. [...]

Latin America’s booming pharma industry is a local affair

Latin America’s booming pharma industry is a local affair

Getting older and wealthier by the day, Latin Americans increasingly visit their pharmacy. Since 2008, the region is by far the fastest growing pharmaceutical market in the world. By 2017, Brazil will become the fourth largest pharma market, behind the U.S., China and Japan. But, this impressive growth story is not a victory for multinationals. [...]

Leadership – the key to growth

Big entrepreneurial success stories are becoming more and more common in Latin America. The list of large, efficient international companies has grown, and they have become more relevant to the world economy. The explanation for their success goes beyond high commodity prices or the growth of the middle class. On one hand we have enormous [...]

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Oh, Canada?

When the upstart Canadian Council for the Americas hosted its first gala dinner in 2011 in Toronto, the event sold out in a few weeks, with over 400 people paying $500 per seat.  Attending Canadian media was astounded. Canadian business was not. The relationship between Canada and Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC) dates back [...]

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Latin America, a two-speed region

The largest 500 companies in Latin America are growing substantially faster than the countries in which they are based. Welcome the Latin Holdcos, the region’s new entrepreneurial phenomenon. Latin America’s entrepreneurial panorama has two salient innovations. The first is the region’s 500 biggest non-financial companies had combined sales of $2.7 trillion in 2012. That’s slightly [...]

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Latin America’s Brave New Demographics

Latin America is about to reap ageneration of demographic dividend thanks to plunging fertility rates, which in Brazil, Chile and Mexico are below the replacement rate of 2.1.  From 2000 to 2020, the percentage of working age Latin Americans (16-65) is projected to rise from 42 to 53 percent. That will deliver an economic boost [...]

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A changing of the guard

We are beginning to witness a rare event that will transform the history of Latin American business. Largely unnoticed, the leaders of top corporations are being replaced by a younger generation: the patriarchs of the largest family-owned groups are handing over the torch to their heirs. The succession does not, in general, present a major [...]

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Corruption is growing (again) in Latin America

Latin America has achieved great things over the last decade: improved income distribution, less poverty, more home ownership, higher literacy, and a more robust democracy, among them. Corruption, on the other hand, has worsened. Comparing 2011 Transparency International Corruption index metrics with those of a decade earlier reveals a startling trend of increased corruption across [...]

Letter from the editor: What business leaders want

Letter from the editor: What business leaders want

Latin America is a region that is under construction. Economic growth is finally promoting the availability of better public services. It is helping to develop relations between governments and their citizens. Serious efforts are being made to develop infrastructure, and — in some cases —governments are becoming more transparent and efficient. In brief, the region [...]

Letter from the editor: Business Revs Up For Growth In 2013

Letter from the editor: Business Revs Up For Growth In 2013

This year will be a good one for Latin America. In what is the first issue of Latin Trade for 2013, we want to show you what lies behind our optimism from a variety of angles. Maybe we’ve been donning our rosy-tinted spectacles. After all, the region’s economic growth came to a close on 3.1 [...]

Credit is King

Credit is King

The expansion of credit has dramatically altered the consumer landscape in Latin America over the last decade. Going back a bit further, in 1990, fewer than 3 percent of Latin American households had a credit card.  By 2020, that figure will grow to 25 percent.  In Brazil, where credit has grown even more radically, consumer [...]

Searching for El Silicon Valley of Latin America

Searching for El Silicon Valley of Latin America

Politicians across the globe are fond of touting their nation’s high-tech cluster as the next Silicon Valley.  Few examples around the world, however, can stack up to the California original.  None on that short-list can be found in Latin America. Modern Latin America can boast several fields of excellence but innovation is not one of them.  [...]

20 Years of History

20 Years of History

A good magazine will always strive to portray current issues accurately. Its pages should reflect the points of view and events of the region that matter most to its readers. These are all strong reasons why a good magazine should keep up with the times. We believe that Latin Trade, over the last  20 years, [...]

Photo: Agencia el Universal/El Universal de MExico/Newscom

President Ollanta Humala’s first year: a score card

During the first half of last year, presidential candidate Ollanta Humala rose in the opinion polls and went on to become the overall winner in the first round of voting. Then, the day after his victory, the Lima Stock Exchange fell 12.5 percent, the worst one-day decline in its history. Looking toward a second round [...]

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Time for a little austerity in Latin America

Giving too much money to politicians is like feeding candy to children: it always leads to bad behavior.  Latin America is no exception.  The decade-long economic boom driven by high commodity prices and cheap capital has been good to Latin American governments and consumers alike.  In 2009, when the global financial crisis struck, households and [...]

Why Multi-Latinas Are Winning

Why Multi-Latinas Are Winning

In 1999, less than half of the largest 500 companies in Latin America were homegrown. By 2007, Latin American firms commanded three out of every four positions in the regional top 500. Today, multi-Latinas, armed with cash, are stepping out of their comfort zone and taking control of debt-laden firms in Europe and the United [...]

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Latin America’s New Breed of Corporate Leaders

The leaders of Latin America’s successful, 21st century companies represent a new kind of executive and this is having important repercussions across the board. Today these people are generally professionals –many of them hold MBAs– with a world view directed toward the sustainability of their business, their environment and their community. They are knowledgeable about [...]

Photo © Paulo Fridman

BRAVO Forum: Challenges & Opportunities for Brazil

Brazil has prepared itself in recent years to become a leading nation in the international arena through macroeconomic and social changes that were carried out by governments with different political orientations but a similar aim. Today, Brazil is experiencing a unique moment in its history. However, although it is essentially immune to the economic crises [...]

Opinion: A Latin Solution To An African Problem

Opinion: A Latin Solution To An African Problem

Fifteen years ago, Mexico did something that, until then, only rich countries had dared to do – it began to transfer cash directly to its poor.  The payments were conditional: Recipients had to help themselves by keeping their children in school and vaccinating them. Today, about 70 developing countries have followed the example, and most [...]

The Contrarian: Go South, Joven

The Contrarian: Go South, Joven

Twenty   years ago, when I first headed south to Mexico to launch my Latin American career, I filled my last tank of U.S. gasoline outside of El Paso, Texas. When the station manager, an old Tejano, learned I was moving to Mexico, he quipped, “You’re going the wrong way, man. They’re all moving here.” How [...]

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Einigkeit, Europe?

Alberto Bernal-Leon of Bulltick Capital Markets. What does the euro need to survive? It’s hard to believe, but nearly four years have passed since the outbreak of the worst global economic crisis since 1929. Many things have changed since that fateful September day when the U.S. Treasury committed the worst economic mistake in modern history: [...]

Calderon’s Mixed Legacy: Success or Failure?

Calderon’s Mixed Legacy: Success or Failure?

When Felipe Calderon leaves Mexico’s presidency in December, he will leave behind a mixed legacy, as our special report shows. That might not seem impressive at first glance, but there’s a case to be made that it actually could represent a certain degree of accomplishment and success for Calderon. After all, he faced an unprecedented [...]

The Contrarian: Reforms the key to improve competitiveness in Mexico

The World Economic Forum’s annual competitiveness ranking is the global beauty pageant for competing nations.  Mexico, the darling of emerging markets in the 1990s, had gradually slipped into the “ugly duckling” range of nations, ranking No. 66 by 2010.  But Mexico got a bit of a face lift in September 2011, rising eight positions to [...]

Mexico: Opportunities Ahead

Mexico, together with other Latin American countries, has a unique opportunity to assume a position of leadership, growth and deve-lopment. These countries have assets that must be appropriately valued,  particularly regarding European economies and other developed economies. These are: 1) solid macroeconomic factors; 2) healthy financial systems that were not severely affected by the crisis [...]

Calderon’s Economic Legacy

Calderon’s Economic Legacy

Research fellow at INEGI and former chief economist for Latin America and Mexico at HSBC Mexico. Vicente Fox’s economic legacy as president of Mexico was extremely mediocre, despite having consolidated the macroeconomic stability he inherited from Ernesto Zedillo. The average annual 2.1 percent growth over his six-year administration (the worst in Mexican history, with the [...]