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Latin America: Driving Toward Sustainable Business Advantage

Like many other regions impacted by the global economic crisis, investors and business executives across Latin America have been forced to recalculate expectations of return on investment and corporate earnings.

In recent months, most financial analysts have revised growth expectations for the region downward. A recent survey of more than 100 executives from large, mid-sized and small banks from 19 Latin American and Caribbean countries by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Latin American Bank Federation (FELABAN) finds that most of these respondents expect to feel the impacts of the global financial crisis for one to three years.

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation And Development (OECD), in its Latin American Economic Outlook 2009, acknowledges important challenges for the region, including “revenue generation that relies on volatile non-tax sources and regressive indirect taxes…” and recognizes the key linkage of fiscal policy and development as a key indicator of economic growth within the region’s high-potential economies.

The clear consensus among the region’s bankers and other business executives is that 2009 will, no doubt, be a challenging year for Latin America and other regional players in the world economy.

Yet the same OECD outlook report recognizes steps taken by Latin American governments since the end of the debt crisis of the 1980s that have “reduced deficits, lowered fiscal volatility, increased public expenditure and pioneered fiscal innovations.”

Lessons learned from the region’s past experiences with debt and currency crises and volatile commodity markets provide Latin American business executives the perspective, experience and agility to adapt to shifting business challenges and the resourcefulness to seek out new opportunities for business growth.
While the business community in some parts of the region remains in need of political and economic stability, there remains a significant growth story to tell.

Long overshadowed by the explosive growth of Asian economies, Latin America continues to reveal its market potential even amid the turbulence of the global economic dynamic...

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