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Best for doing business: Chile, Mexico and Uruguay. Worst: Haiti, Bolivia and Nicaragua.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

Chile cements its position as the best country in Latin America to do business in, according to the second annual Latin Business Index from Latin Business Chronicle

"Chile is actually a developed developing country," says Jerry Haar, a professor of management and international business and associate director of the Knight Ridder Center for Excellence in Management in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University. "Its not Belgium, but its not Bolivia either."

Kathleen Barclay, the Chile-based former executive with JP Morgan Chase who chairs the Association of American Chamber of Commerce in Latin America, also sings the countrys praises.

"Doing business in Chile is straightforward - there is sustainable economic growth and solid political institutions," she says.  "The rules of the game are clear and investors - foreign or domestic - are given the equal treatment.  Most importantly, when doing business with Chile you deal with quality people who have high ethical standards,  The challenge to be successful in Chile is to be competitive."

Mexico, Latin Americas second-largest economy, came in second.  However, Uruguay replaced Costa Rica as Latin Americas third-best country to do business in.

The index of 19 countries looks at five key categories and 28 subcategories to measure the recent, current and future business environment in a country.  They are:

  • Macro Environment (GDP growth 2005 and 2006, estimated growth this year and forecasted growth next year, GDP per capita and inflation 2005 and 2006, estimated inflation this year and forecasted inflation next year).
  • Globalization & Competitiveness (globalization, competitiveness, tariffs and education/ health).
  • Corporate Environment (corporate tax rates, access to capital for entrepreneurs and ease of doing business, including starting and closing a business).
  • Socio-Political Environment (political freedom, economic freedom, political stability, political outlook, business policies of government, corruption and security for companies and businessmen).
  • Technology Level (PC, Internet, wireless and fixed telephony penetration).

Although Argentina and Venezuela have increasingly implemented investor...




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