Multinationals are generally positive on Latin America despite global uncertainty.
BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
Despite the global slowdown, multinational CEOs are generally upbeat on Latin America’s business outlook this year, according to a Latin Business Chronicle survey.
“The overall sentiment towards Latin America is positive,” says Olivier Puech, vice president of Latin America for Finland-based Nokia, the world’s largest wireless handset manufacturer.
“In contrast to the U.S. and Europe, which are struggling with financial woes and a frustrated middle class, Latin America’s middle class in many cases continues to grow strongly,” says Woods Staton, President and CEO of Argentina-based Arcos Dorados, the world’s largest McDonald’s franchisee.
Leo Rodriguez, President of Latin America for US-based Emerson and Emerson Process Management, also is positive. “Although geopolitical headwinds are a threat to continued growth in the region, I do not see these headwinds impacting projected growth and gross fixed investment in the medium to long term,” he says
Alvaro Diago, Chief Operating Officer, Latin America and Caribbean for UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group, is even more upbeat. “I am extremely bullish about our region as a whole,” he says. “While in times past, negative economic news has outweighed the positive, there is no doubt that the region’s positives far outweigh the negatives.”
Similar optimism is hared by top Latin America executives at companies like Adobe, Global Crossing and Microsoft. But one executive expresses some caution.
“I believe Latin America will feel the effects of the global economic instability in 2012 more than it has in recent years,” warns Jaime Szulc, President Goodyear Latin America.
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