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Dominican Today, Dom. Rep., Aug. 2, 2007


Dominican Republic: Latin America trade loser

MIAMI.- Dominican Republic is among the five top losers in Latin America when it comes to trade growth, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of new data from United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Dominican exports last year grew by 4.8 percent to $6.4 billion. That was the second-lowest growth rate in Latin America. Only El Salvador had lower growth (4.2 percent). Meanwhile, Dominican imports grew by 13.4 percent to $11.2 billion. That was the third-lowest growth rate in Latin America. Only Guetamala and El Salvador had lower growth rates.

Total exports from Latin America grew by 18.4 percent to $680.9 billion, while imports increased 18.2 percent to $588.2 billion, ECLAC estimates. Paraguay led the way in both export and import growth, measured by percentage change, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of the ECLAC data. Other export winners include Chile (up 40.7 percent), Bolivia (38.4 percent), Peru (37.0 percent) and Ecuador (25.2 percent). On the import side, the second-largest winner after Paraguay was Venezuela (36.0 percent), followed by Uruguay (29.6 percent), Brazil (24.2 percent) and Colombia (23.5 percent), according to the analysis from Latin Business Chronicle.

"Fortunately, we are in a boom in Latin America, spurred by the demand...especially from China," says Isaac Cohen, former Washington director for ECLAC and president of consultancy Inverway.

In addition to demand from China, Latin America's exports have been helped by the steady expansion of the world economy, India's increasing importance in world demand and international capital markets' high levels of liquidity, accorfding to ECLAC. "These trends have driven up export volumes and improved the region's terms of trade, thereby helping to boost its trade surpluses," the commission says.

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