by Juan Pablo Cuevas, Head of Global Transaction Services, Latin America and the Caribbean, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Those of us holding our breath for a surge in Latin American economic growth may have to wait a while longer – but a rising middle class, abundant natural resources and progress towards more open markets combine to make a strong case for investment.
An economic renaissance for the region was widely predicted just a decade ago yet, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), regional growth has slowed for four consecutive years, from a peak of 6.1% in 2010, to 1.3% in 2014.
Faced with those figures, it might be tempting to look elsewhere for business expansion – but that would be to miss out on the very real opportunities for growth and progress that lie behind the headline numbers. Those opportunities are driven by two main factors: the emergence of a middle class of more affluent consumers and a move to lower barriers between markets in the region. A third factor, offset recently by falling commodity prices, is the region’s abundance of natural resources.