Aviso LatAm: August 23, 2022

​​​​​What you should know

  • World Bank Group: In its just-completed fiscal year, the bank deployed $20.7 billion to support LAC as it continues to grapple with economic slowdown, rising inflation, and deepening food insecurity.
  • Argentina: With inflation at 70 percent and rising, Argentina secured a CAF loan of $740 million US for infrastructure and social programs.
  • Mexico: In an effort to strengthen ties, Canada and Mexico launched the first High-Level Economic Dialogue on August 15.

Monitoring economic headwinds and tailwinds in the region

  • Chile: Economists predict a potential recession as the Central Bank’s GDP data came in below expectations in Q2 of 2022.
  • El Salvador: The country shifted from being a net energy importer to a net exporter, due to energy projects on the Lempa River and its membership in the regional energy market Central American Electrical Interconnection System (SIEPAC).
  • Peru: Forecasts showed that the country will cease being LAC’s fastest growing major economy–a title it has held since 2011–as political turmoil undermines government management and investor confidene.
  • Colombia: President Petro proposed higher taxes on top earners, a wealth tax, and an export tax on minerals, with revenue going to reduce the deficit and cover new social spending programs.
  • Dominican Republic: FDI grew 8 percent in the first half of 2022 compared to 2021, and was 20 percent higher compared to 2019. Growth was mainly in tourism, industry, and mining.
  • Cuba: The government is allowing limited foreign investment in wholesalers, and will consider public/private retail ventures, in an attempt to reduce shortages.

In focus: CARICOM and non-tariff barriers

President Irfaan Ali of Guyana and Prime Minister Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago met in Port of Spain ​ahead of Trinidad​ and Tobago’s second Agri-Investment Forum and Expo. Ali and Rowley announced a ​joint task force ​to reduc​e non-tariff trade barriers, a systemic inter-regional issue that limits the free flow of goods between CARICOM governments. This ​task force’s announcement comes on the back of CARICOM’s intent to reduce its food import bill by 2025 by 25% by eliminating such barriers as part of efforts to strengthen food security ​in the region. 

Health + Innovation

  • PAHO: The Organization hosted a regional workshop aiming to strengthen preparedness and response to future respiratory virus pandemics in LAC.
  • Peru: The Supreme Court ruled against mandatory proof COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace citing violations to workers’ rights.
  • Honduras: The latest recipient of 149,760 COVID-19 vaccine doses through the COVAX mechanism.
  • Brazil: The federal police accused President Bolsonaro of discouraging compliance with pandemic-linked health measures.

Geopolitics of vaccine donations: US vs. China

  • The United States outpaces China in its donations of COVID-19 vaccines to Latin America and the Caribbean, with Colombia and Mexico topping the list. The region has received roughly 52 percent of all US COVID-19 vaccine donations. To learn more, visit our COVID-19 vaccine tracker: Latin America and the Caribbean.