A new United Nations study says that exports from Latin America and the Caribbean will grow by 21.4 per cent this year, owing mainly to purchases from Asia – particularly China – and the normalization of United States demand. According to the study, “Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Economy 2009-2010” the expected rise in 2010 follows a 22.6 per cent decline in 2009, making the increase even more pronounced. The increase is driven mainly by South American sales of prime materials.
Growth has been much greater in countries that export natural resources, such as agricultural, livestock and mining products – namely, South American nations, the study shows. It has been slower in countries that import basic commodities and depend on tourism and remittances, such as the Central American and the Caribbean economies. According to estimates, exports from Mercosur countries (South America’s “Southern Common Market”) are expected to increase 23.4 per cent this year and those from Andean nations by 29.5 per cent. By contrast, sales from the Central American Common Market will expand only 10.8 per cent. Exports from Mexico, for example, are expected to rise by 16 per cent, and from Panama 10.1 per cent, while sales from Chile should see growth of 32.6 per cent.
The diversification of exports, a strong boost to competitiveness and innovation, and greater regional cooperation will allow Latin America and the Caribbean to improve the quality of its participation in the global economy, close productivity gaps, and capitalize the opportunities of international trade in order to grow with more equality,” said ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena during the launching of the report at the Commission’s headquarters in Santiago, Chile.