The Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami has released a new research paper, "Latin America in the Age of Globalization: A Follower or a Force of its Own?” Key findings from the paper include:
- Average annual growth in GDP in LATAM trailed the world average in the period 1998 to 2008 but surpassed world averages in the period 2009-2011 on the back of strong commodity prices.
- The ratio of exports to GDP is growing faster in Latin America than in any other part of the world in part due to new trading partners in China and India.
- in 2011 foreign direct investment amounted to US$ 150 billion, a 31% increase over 2010.
- Latin America continues to have the highest Gini coefficient, which measures the concentration of wealth, with a coefficient of 50%; 30.4% of Latin America's population is poor or indigent.
- Total factor productivity has shown little improvement in the last 40 years in Latin America, while countries such as Korea, Malaysia and Thailand have demonstrated marked improvement in productivity.
The paper concludes:
"If Latin America does not change its policies substantially, the prospects for the region to remain a relevant partner in an increasingly integrated world would be poor. Latin America may grow by the current rate on a per-capita basis, possibly in the order of 2 1⁄2 percent a year, but the world will be growing faster. Latin America’s income may stay at a constant ratio to advanced countries, with Mexico and Brazil possibly posting growth rates close to that of the United States, but this performance means that Latin America may slowly loose global relevance, especially in comparison to East and South Asia."
Wednesday I will be speaking at a conference in Lima on ICT. My themes will be education and social inclusion in the digital era. A timely speech given this research report.
Full report is at: https://www6.miami.edu/hemispheric-policy/Task_Force_Papers/Loser-GlobalizationTaskForce.pdf