Thursday, April 5, 2007

Latin America’s economy still a mixed bag

-Contributed by Alison Bowen

Everyone has something to say about the economic state of Latin America. A few examples:

Latin America’s economic growth rose overall by 4.8 percent this year, according to the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Reuters reports that more retailers are interested in the region after a boom in consumer spending. Chilean retailers lead the wave of expansion, and although they want to keep foreign retailers out, British and French businesses are looking for ways to get in the Latin American retail market.

Meanwhile, the Inter-American Development Bank cancelled $4.4 billion worth of debt March 29, according to the Free Market News Network. Bolivia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua will benefit from the reprieve, led by Honduras’ $1.4 billion and Bolivia’s $1 billion owned. Nicaragua owed $984 million, followed by $525 million from Haiti and $467 from Guyana. The cancellation, along with providing funding to Ecuador, Paraguay and El Salvador, is part of IDB’s plan to cut poverty levels to 50 percent by 2015.

Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge had some recommendations for Latin America’s monetary woes, The Globe and Mail reported March 29.

After explaining that the International Monetary Fund is not the right organization to fix Latin America’s fiscal problems, Dodge recommended creating an alternative organization that could work with the various nations to promote free trade and liberal markets.

Speaking to the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas in New York, he pinpointed Argentina as the most fiscally irresponsible nation in the region.

Argentina has consistently failed to live up to its potential, and bad policy choices are largely to blame,” Dodge said, citing high inflation as a major problem.

Dodge said Chile, Mexico and Brazil have all improved on controlling inflation.

Canada helped Argentina with its monetary problems in 2001, and Dodge is a frequent visitor to Latin America with a daughter in Brazil, according to the article.

Links- The Globe and Mail, Free Market News Network, Reuters

Image- PC World


Anonymous said...

The writer clearly has a good grasp of the Latin American economy

Erwin C. said...

Alison's a super addition to our list of contributors so please be on the lookout for future articles written by her!