Foreign direct investment in 2012 was record for region

Latin America and the Caribbean received a record $173.4 billion of foreign direct investment in 2012. That was 6.7 per cent more than in 2011, according to the U. N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The figures are attributable to the region’s steady economic growth, high prices for raw materials and the impressive returns on investments related to natural resource exploitation, according to the report “Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2012.”

The commission predicts that this year’s foreign direct investment will range between minus 3 percent and plus 7 percent.

The report describes direct investment as increasingly focused on the exploitation of natural resources, particularly in South America. Manufacturing represents a fairly low proportion, except in Brazil and Mexico, it said

Brazil remains the main recipient of foreign direct investment, despite the slight 2 percent decrease recorded in 2012, when it received $65.3 billion or 41 percent of regional amount.

Other countries that posted higher figures than in 2011 were Argentina (27 percent), Paraguay (27 percent), Bolivia (23 percent), Colombia (18 percent) and Uruguay (8 percent). In Central America, the most striking results were El Salvador (34 percent), Guatemala (18 percent), Costa Rica (5 percent), Honduras (4 percent) and Panama (10 percent).

United States and European Union countries remain the main investors in Latin America and the Caribbean, with Canada and Japan also making significant contributions.

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