Latin America Update: January 4, 2012
2012: Year of Regional Integration
Loosely based on the European model, the nations of Latin America continue an agenda of regional integration. The newly formed Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, CELAC) consists of 33 sovereign countries in the Americas, and totals roughly 600 million people (excluding the United States and Canada). Chilean President Sebastián Piñera is the President pro tempore of CELAC and the 2012 conference will take place in Chile (July). The Organization of American States (which does include the US and Canada) will hold its annual assembly this year in Cochabamba, Bolivia (June). I need to plan my flights.
Equity Markets in Latin America
Colombia, Chile, and Perú will operate a unified stock market starting in May of 2012. Mexico has signed a letter of intent to join this integrated market called MILA (Mercado Integrado Latinoamericano).
Growth Expectations for 2012
Latin American economies will grow approximately 4% in 2012 led by Panama, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, and Mexico.
2012 Presidential Elections
Venezuela, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic will all choose new leaders this year.
Too bad the pilgrims didn’t drink wine
Chile has been making wine for over 490 years; 75 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Chile is the fifth largest exporting country in the world with 4.3% of the market share (ahead of the US).