Nearshore Americas

Foreign Investment in Latin America Hits High: $112B in 2010

Source: Info-Prod Research via iStockAnalyst

Latin America and the Caribbean recorded the world’s highest increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and outflows in 2010. The region received US$ 112.6 billion last year, a 40% increase over 2009 and an all-time high in terms of FDI in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

In 2011, the value is expected to increase by between 15% and 25%. The figures were culled from a report of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac).

Brazil was the country in the region that received the most FDI in 2010, having recorded an 87% increase in inflows, which climbed from US$ 25.9 billion in 2009 to US$ 48.4 billion last year. Mexico ranks second in the report, having received US$ 17.7 billion; Chile is in the third position, at US$ 15.1 billion.

From 2007 to 2010, the share of Latin America and the Caribbean in global FDI inflows went from 5% to 10%. FDI outflows from Latin America and the Caribbean also grew significantly and nearly quadrupled from 2009 to 2010, totalling US$ 43.1 billion. Mexico invested abroad the most in 2010, at a total of US$ 12.7 billion, followed by Brazil, which invested US$ 11.5 billion.

“The figures we are presenting today point to the growing integration of Latin American and the Caribbean in the process of economic globalization. The region’s countries not only remain attractive to foreign investors, but they are also increasingly daring to conquer other markets by means of trans- Latins,” said the executive secretary of the Cepal during the report’s presentation, according to a statement issued by the organization.

“In order to improve the capacity to absorb the benefits of such investment, we are stressing the need to implement productive development policies focused on innovation and on the strengthening of local capacities to promote the creation of quality employment. FDI must help the region to grow with equality,” she finished off.

According to the Eclac statement, factors that enabled the growth of FDI in 2010 include the better performance of developed economies and the dynamism of certain emerging economies, which led to increased demand in some sectors. In South America, sectors that received the highest inflows in 2010 were natural resources (43%) and services (30%).

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In Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, investment continues to reach mainly the manufacturing (54%) and services (41%) sectors. The countries that invested the most in Latin America and the Caribbean last year were the United States, which accounted for 17% of all FDI into the region, the Netherlands (13%), China (9%), Canada and Spain (both with 4%).


Kirk Laughlin

Kirk Laughlin is an award-winning editor and subject expert in information technology and offshore BPO/ contact center strategies.

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