Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Panama are garnering more attention from investors than Venezuela & Co.
BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
Forget ALBA. The LatAm Five is where the action is.
While ALBA countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador continue to garner much media attention these days, multinationals are busy focusing on five other Latin American countries.
Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Panama are all seeing growing investor interest. Meanwhile, Mexico remains a key market for multinationals operating in Latin America despite an especially difficult time as a result of its close ties to the U.S. economy.
There are also other markets that stand out positively such as Chile, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. However, multinationals in Chile don’t report the same kind of growth figures seen in other markets, but rather steady growth. Both the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica have great potential, but are not yet in the same category as the LatAm Five.
The LatAm Five have a combined GDP of $3 trillion, which represents 72 percent of Latin America’s total GDP, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of 2008 data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). That’s almost ten times more than the total GDP of $378.3 billion for ALBA countries Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua. (No reliable data exists for Cuba).
Meanwhile, the combined population of the LatAm Five totals 378.6 million versus 58.2 million for ALBA’s top four members (again excluding Cuba).
“Brazil has enormous potential – and will always have it,” goes an old Brazilian joke. No longer. In recent years, that potential has been realized and today Brazil is a global powerhouse. While its economy has continued to grow strongly, Brazilian companies have aggressively expanded abroad.
In addition to the...
Keywords: Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru