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Guest Thinkers

Latin America’s Export Windfall

Latin America is experiencing an exceptional boom, owing to soaring income from exports of natural resources. But is the region making the most of this opportunity to use the funds effectively?

Former Economic Minister of Argentina, Jose Luis Machinea charts a course for spending Latin America’s revenue windfall responsibly: “With the exception of Central America, rising commodity prices have improved the external accounts and fiscal positions of Latin American countries. Revenue from natural-resource exports represented 25% of total income in the public sector in 2008. In Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Mexico, it exceeded 40%. This comes to around 7% of GDP in these countries (more than 11% in Venezuela and Bolivia, and 8% in Ecuador and Mexico)…”


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Latin America is the forgotten continent, often ignored by the U.S. and the rest of the developed world. But the region and its rich cultural and creative resources could play a more visible and relevant role with the advent of its creative class, which if properly supported, could partake on what is increasingly an economy of ideas and innovation. This evolution could also help the region drastically change its image.

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