What you should know
- Brazil: The Supreme Court will investigate whether former President Jair Bolsonaro incited the January 8 attack on Congress and other government buildings in Brasilia.
- Peru: People—mainly from remote Andean regions—descended on the nation’s capital to protest against President Dina Boluarte in support of her predecessor and demand elections and structural change in the country.
- Trade: The value of goods exported from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) increased at an estimated rate of 18.8 percent in 2022, a downward trend from 27.8 percent in 2021, due to higher prices and low volumes.
Monitoring economic headwinds and tailwinds in the region
- Argentina: The government will buy back overseas bonds equivalent to over $1 billion to improve its debt profile, looking to send a positive signal to markets despite low reserves levels.
- Brazil: Vice President Alckmin said that Lula’s administration wants to remove a key tax on manufacturing and importing, the IPI, as part of a broader tax reform package.
- Guyana: The government announced $43.4 billion in funding for a new natural gas power plant, alongside distribution infrastructure improvements, to promote business and development.
- Multilaterals: During his inauguration, new Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) president Ilan Goldfajn announced three key priorities for the bank: social issues, climate change, and sustainable infrastructure.
- Mexico: The 2023 North American Leaders Summit concluded with new agreements to promote sustainability, strengthen supply chains, and respond to migration.
- Peru: The national statistics institute (INEI) said the economy expanded 1.7 percent year-on-year in November, marking a slight slowdown from the rise of 2.0 percent in October.
In focus: LAC in Davos
Latin American and Caribbean public- and private-sector leaders gathered alongside their counterparts from across the world in Davos, Switzerland, for this year’s Global Economic Forum. Colombia’s finance minister Jose Antonio Ocampo used the opportunity to push for a stronger agreement on minimum taxes for multinational companies. Brazil’s finance minister, Fernando Haddad, and environmental minister, Marina Silva, discussed Brazil’s positive economic outlook, environmental stewardship, and desire for regional integration.
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez also delivered a speech, in which he emphasized Spain’s role in building ties between Europe and Latin America, as Spain prepares to take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union later this year.
Health + Innovation
- Vaccines: The Canadian government will donate $33.4 million to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to increase access to COVID-19 immunizations for populations across the region. This donation is in addition to a prior contribution of $40 million in 2021.
- Belize: The country will celebrate 34 years of relations with Taiwan through the construction of a new general hospital in San Pedro.
- Nutrition: A new United Nations report found that 22.5 percent—or 131.3 million people—of the region’s population cannot afford a healthy diet, citing a country’s income level, the incidence of poverty, and level of inequality as contributing factors.
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.