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 reduce 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.