Latin America still has a long way to go, one expert says.
BY ALEJANDRA LABANCA
Lord Mark Malloch Brown, former British Minister of State and Chairman for Global Affairs at FTI Consulting, commended Latin America for “an astonishing coming of age, which I applaud and support wholeheartedly” during the keynote address at the opening of the Latin Trade Symposium in Miami on Friday.
The former British official, who worked as a political adviser in the region during the 1980s, noted however that Latin America “still has a long way to go to take its place in the first division.” Asked about the potential effects on the region of the most recent crisis in the euro zone, Malloch Brown warned Latin America “not to believe that because it was OK during the 2008 crisis, this time will be the same.”
“This crisis is the second shoe falling. This is a long term shift of wealth away from the middle classes of the north - who had been leveraged [into their high standard of living] and now are deleveraging - that will continue in the form if a long term weakness in those markets,” he said. “And this time China is showing signs of vulnerability because of internal debt difficulties.”
Malloch-Brown said that the recent deal to contain the Greek debt crisis was temporary and that in the coming months there would be more signs of crisis in the euro zone. “There are also challenging months ahead for the US, with an election year and a debt discussion pending. Latin America needs to be vigilant over the coming months and years,” he concluded.
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