Aviso LatAm: December 3, 2022

​​​​​What you should know

  • Economic outlook: The head of the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said that the region’s stagnation is ”worse than the 1980s” due to weak investment, low productivity, and inadequate education.
  • Mexico: Remittances sent from workers abroad surpassed $5.35 billion in October, beating economists’ forecast on US job strength.
  • #ProactiveLAC: On Wednesday, December 7, the Atlantic Council will host a virtual conversation on LAC’s economic outlook, fiscal policy, and small and medium-sized enterprises in uncertain times. Register here.

Monitoring economic headwinds and tailwinds in the region

  • Argentina: Upcoming legislation is set to encourage investment in its liquified natural gas sector, as demand, driven by the war in Ukraine, continues to grow. 
  • Bolivia: The country lowered its 2023 growth forecast from 5.1 to 4.8 percent, as an ongoing strike in Santa Cruz has led to over $780 million in losses.  
  • Chile: During the recent high-level dialogue with the United States covering migration and sustainable development, both parties agreed to relaunch their bilateral Science, Technology, and Innovation Council. 
  • Dominican Republic: The United States will block sugar imports from Central Romana, the Caribbean nation’s largest employer, accusing it of using forced labor
  • Ecuador: The government is considering a new financing deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for 2023, as its current agreement is set to expire at the end of 2022.  
  • Guyana: According to new ECLAC data, the country recorded the highest FDI growth in the Caribbean in 2021, and now accounts for half of all Caribbean FDI, thanks to its booming hydrocarbon sector.  
  • Peru: Farmers and truckers set up roadblocks to protest rising gas and fertilizer prices, driven up by the war in Ukraine.  
  • FDI: In a 2022 ECLAC report, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) rose by 40.7 percent in 2021 but fell short to achieve pre-pandemic levels.

In focus: Venezuelan thaw

Last weekend, the United States granted Chevron a six-month license to expand operations in Venezuela after the Maduro government agreed to resume talks in Mexico City with the country’s opposition. The two sides signed an agreement to use frozen Venezuelan assets for humanitarian relief as well.  

The United States has framed this policy shift as a “targeted” response to promote “concrete steps” forward by the parties meeting in Mexico City. At the same time, the energy crisis driven by Russia’s war in Ukraine has elevated Maduro’s–-and Venezuela’s –-importance in a time of rising oil demand.  

Health + Innovation

  • ICYMI: On November 16, the Atlantic Council launched a report with actionable recommendations for improving immunization program outcomes and financing in the region. Read it here.
  • Uruguay: Health authorities issued a recommendation that immunocompromised patients and over 50 year-olds should take their fifth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Food insecurity: An ECLAC report found that 56.5 million people in LAC are impacted by hunger.

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.