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Canada: Latin Business Boom

As Canada prepares for free trade with Colombia and Peru, its overall exports to Latin America are already growing strongly.


Canadian companies like Scotiabank and Nortel are bullish on Latin America. Meanwhile, Canadas exports to the region are growing at higher levels than U.S. and European exports, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis. And with reason. Brazils GDP alone is expected to surpass that of Canada next year. Canadas trade and investment will get a further boost from free trade agreements with Peru, its third-largest trade partner in Latin America, and Colombia, its fifth-largest export market in the region.

"Scotiabank is very optimistic about the business outlook for Latin America in 2008," says Anatol von Hahn, Scotiabanks executive vice president for Latin America. "The Latin American market place is evolving quickly. With a large, young consumer base, growing political and economic stability and more integrated regulatory systems, the Latin American market holds enormous potential."

Improved debt sustainability, sizable international reserves and further development of financial sectors offer insulation from the aftershocks of the U.S.-led sub-prime crisis, he argues. "Robust domestic demand also reinforces a sense of resilience to U.S.-inspired economic shocks," von Hahn says.

Alvio Barrios, president for Nortel CALA, is similarly upbeat. "Latin America has been growing steadily in the last five years," he points out. "External economic factors like commodity prices are fueling this trend. The ...

Keywords: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, FDI, Mexico, Ecuador, Exports, Imports, Peru, Venezuela

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