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Latin America's best and worst countries when it comes to exporting and importing containerized goods.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

Panama leads the way when it comes to having Latin Americas best environment for exporting and importing containerized goods. The Dominican Republic, Chile, Costa Rica and El Salvador round out the top five, according to the 2008 Doing business survey from the World Bank. The survey measured 178 countries worldwide, including 31 in Latin America and the Caribbean.

On the opposite end is Venezuela, followed by Haiti, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay and Guatemala. Mexico ended in 12th place, while Brazil came in 18th place.

The ranking for trading environment looked at the cost, the time and documents needed to export and import a dry-cargo, 20-foot, full container load.

COST TO EXPORT AND IMPORT

El Salvador is the least-expensive country to export from and import to. A container typically costs $540 to export. Thats the same as Denmark charges and less expensive than countries like Sweden and Portugal, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of the World Bank data. El Salvador also charges $540 for importing a typical container - the same as Denmark and less expensive than countries like Israel and Indonesia.

The most expensive Latin American country in terms of exports is Venezuela, which charges more than four times that amount - or $2,400 - to export a typical container. Thats the 13-worst result worldwide and means Venezuela is more expensive than countries like Russia and Zimbabwe, according to our analysis.

The average Latin American export cost is $1,107 per container. Thats cheaper than South Asia, Eastern Europe & Central Asia and...

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