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Latin America at a glance: April 2017

In this section we provide you a wide overview of Latin American Economy, Politics and Business Opportunities in 2 minutes.

Ecuador

Quito / Ecuador
  • April 2, 2017. Lenín Moreno won the presidential election by barely more than two percentages.
  • Mr Moreno has a reputation as a pragmatist. Born in Nuevo Rocafuerte, a hamlet in the Amazon forest accessible only from the Napo river, he grew up in Quito, the capital, where he began his career in the tourist industry. He has been in a wheelchair since 1998, when muggers shot him. But his personality is sunny. He set up a foundation to promote “humour and happiness” and has published a book called “The World’s Best Jokes”. Source the Economist.

Mexico

latam business network_mexico
  • About NAFTA negotiations: Wilbur Ross, the United States’ commerce secretary, talks of making a “very sensible” agreement with Mexico. A leaked draft letter to Congress by the acting trade representative, Stephen Vaughn, proposes updating NAFTA to make it more like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Peter Navarro, Mr Trump’s trade adviser, wants to create a “mutually beneficial regional powerhouse”, though his way of doing that could be disruptive. He would tighten rules of origin, which might make it hard for Mexico to get car parts from China to sell within NAFTA, for example. Source: The Economist
  • JPMorgan Chase, a bank, recently lifted its forecast for growth in Mexico this year from 1.3% to 2%. Outside the theatre of Mr Trump’s threats, real-world trade is doing well. Strong manufacturing growth in the United States is helping Mexican factories: Mexico’s non-oil exports grew 5.5% year-on-year in February. The boss of a “maquiladora” factory on the border says: “2017 is looking good.” Source: The Economist
  • The Mexican ferroalloy producer,  Autlán,  expects to invest US$150-200mn in hydro and wind power projects by 2019, under plans aimed at reducing production costs. Source BNAmericas.  AUTLAN is based in Monterrey, Mexico and has 3 ferroalloys plants and 3 mines throughout the country and exports its products to more than 20 countries.  In addition to its Ferroalloy and Mining Divisions, AUTLAN has an Energy Division that produces electricity via a hydroelectric power plant

Peru

MACHU PICCHU
  • The worst flooding in half a century has claimed over a hundred lives and left 155,000 people homeless.
  • LIMA, March 24. Peru’s central bank reduced its forecast for economic growth this year from 4.3 to 3.5 percent. It expects the government to post a bigger fiscal deficit. The central bank also said that it now sees slightly faster inflation this year – 2.4 percent instead of 2.3 percent as forecast previously. Source: Reuters   
  • Peru considered as one of the fastest growing in Latin America during 2016 the economy grew by 3.9 percent. If the economy grows by 3.5 percent this year as forecast by the central bank, it would mark the first slowdown of Peru’s GDP since 2014, when weak mineral prices knocked investments.
  • Peru’s economy has been strongly affected by El Nino phenomenon delaying public work projects.       
    Read more: Nasdaq

Paraguay

Quito / Ecuador
  • March 30th to April 2nd. The annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) was held in Asunción.
  • Paraguay’s congress was in flames. Protesters were battling police and an opposition activist, Rodrigo Quintana, lay dead. Police had shot him in the back at the headquarters of the Liberal Party.
  • The violence was triggered by Mr Cartes’s desire to run for re-election in 2018 which is forbidden by constitution. Source: The Economist

Venezuela

Venezuela
  • April 4th in Caracas: A massive demostration ended in with stones and soldiers with machineguns. Protesters are demanding the dismissal of all seven justices of the Venezuelan Supreme Court. The court issued a ruling March 29 that outraged the government’s political opposition. It ruled that all powers vested under the legislative body, the Venezuelan National Assembly, be transferred to the court itself, which is stacked with government loyalists.
  • The court reversed its decision three days later after a series of violent protests. The opposition said the original decision made Venezuela a dictatorship because all three branches of government would be in the hands of the socialists. Source: CNN

Krawalle bei Protesten in Venezuela | DW Deutsch