Liveblog: Latin America in the Current Global Context

Ian Bremmer
President, Eurasia Group
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How is the region’s role evolving in the current global context?

Dimensions to be addressed:
– Understanding the new role of emerging economies
– Leveraging relations with other regions
– Opening new trade and investment flows

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 201310:19 pm

and that’ll wrap up the summit on putting latam in a global context… it’s been a blast liveblogging. be sure to tune in for the rest of the summit in lima.

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 201310:12 pm

‘if free market forces don’t make businesses pay– for pollution for example– the economic playing field can be set to make it important economically.’
‘germany with highest level of solar power.’

fun fact: 13 countries in the world received more than 30% of their electricity from renewable energy in 2011.

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 201310:10 pm

public-private partnership frameworks seem to be stronger in pacific alliance countries

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 201310:08 pm

lower birthrates + longer life expectancy = aging society —

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 201310:07 pm

“latin america invests about 3% of gdp in infrastructure, while it should invest at least twice this figure.”

hard to argue with this claim. the region needs infrastructure overhaul.

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 201310:06 pm

discussion of aging populations certainly highlights the need for fiscal buffers.

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 201310:06 pm

for more info on populations under 15 years of age, here’s a good source:

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 201310:05 pm

“in peru we have more young people than in other latam countries.”

30% of Peru’s population is under 15 years of age. That’s right in the middle of the latam range–

neighboring bolivia has 36%, mexico 29%, colombia 29%, brazil 24%.

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 201310:01 pm

“in the case of costa rica, the education budget was doubled, and the army was eliminated.”

it helps to not have big geopolitical rivalries or security frictions with neighbors.

in general, latam benefits from the fact that it’s insulated from geopolitical instability, and anchored by the size of the american economy up north.

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 201310:00 pm

interesting points re improving china relations:

…and about looking to costa rican education system:

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:58 pm

here’s a mexico fun fact: mexico recently became the first developing nation to adopt legislation to tackle the impact of climate change.
(that being said, mexico is well on its way to developed– perhaps not so surprising!)

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:57 pm

arne sorenson stresses the theme of the return of manufacturing to mexico and latam beyond. a very good point

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:55 pm

because of political/monetary independence, latam countries can implement diverse policies and maintain their own approaches– but collaborate where useful, and find best practices from neighbors.

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:53 pm

“one way of changing [the relationship with china] is by being more competitive– one way to do that is to integrate the countries in our hemisphere, including the united states.”

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:52 pm

china is the destination for more than 10% of latam exports…

only going one direction:

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:51 pm

“there are people who believe china is buying out latin america.’
‘how fearful should we be?’

‘we don’t need to fear them– we just need a more symmetrical relationship.’

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:48 pm

“the challenge of renewed, pragmatic integration”– most latam countries may share a common language, but priorities/values often differ. hard to wrap them all into any given regional trade architecture.

take mercosur– it’s hard to construct a proactive trade agenda when there’s so much asymmetry among the interests of its members.

oddly, mercosur has signed only three ftas with countries outside the region– those three? israel, egypt, and the palestinian authority…

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:42 pm

importance of education reform was just mentioned– makes sense given 48% of latam middle class wants more government investment in education.

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:41 pm

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:40 pm

“company’s that invest in the communities where they operate will be more profitable.” will lead to more profitability.

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:39 pm

i’d like to hear about the upsurge of crime violence against a backdrop of institutional weakness– and the humanitarian/economic toll it can take on the region’s development.

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:37 pm

“if we look at latam in last 10-15 years, countries have seen huge drop off in their levels of poverty.”

i’ve got a handy chart to back that one up:

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:37 pm

arne sorenson of marriott international is talking about the power of economic incentives and opportunities to unlock developmental improvement

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:35 pm

here’s an interesting fact: among latam countries, only costa rica and uruguay made it to the full democracy mark in the democracy index (as measured by EIU)

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:34 pm

there’s been a lot of talk about prescriptive suggestions– what latam countries should be doing, need to be doing, want to be doing– it’s important to put it in context with the political situation on the ground.

what’s the most telling variable for assessing which policy path these countries will take? the level of political capital that the respective governments enjoy, measured based on..
a. popular support
b. capacity to work with stakeholders (public institutions, business leaders, relevant power players, etc)
c. timing of electoral cycle (free from another campaign for a healthy window of time? fresh off a big victory? etc)

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:30 pm

we’re discussing “comparative advantages”, and discussing the need to shift from raw material exports to export of services

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:29 pm

costa rica certainly eying ftas in asia– they’ve got one ratified in china, one signed in singapore, and one negotiated in south korea..

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:27 pm

we’re talking free trade now. mexico may very well be the role model on this front:

“Mexico maintains free-trade agreements with over 40 countries. The country’s trade as a percentage of GDP — a useful measure of economic openness — is 65 percent, compared with 59 percent in China, 32 percent in the United States, and 25 percent in Brazil.”

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:26 pm

getting commentary from costa rican minister of foreign trade. costa rican president laura chinchilla’s administration faces low public support– to put it understatedly– her approval ratings in feb were 12%.

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:23 pm

it’s hard to ignore that after many years of relative econ abundance, latam countries, generally are facing a weaker external economic environment… and a citizenry more accustomed to growth.

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:21 pm

starting with minister of economy and finance of peru– luis miguel castilla rubio. the question: peru’s growth is solid (6%+). how do we make that sustainable?

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:19 pm

carlos de vega hosting, his opening remarks underway now. this debate is about making growth ‘solid and permanent.’ ‘what qualities can latin america offer to other countries as an example?’

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:16 pm

here we go:

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20139:05 pm

here’s an interesting piece from the wef. well worth a read:

Ian Bremmer Ian Bremmer April 24, 20138:55 pm

looking forward to liveblogging another wef latam summit– it’s starting shortly.

if you missed my play-by-play of the ‘delivering growth’ summit with speeches from the presidents of peru, mexico, and panama, you can find it here:

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