Commercial technician and public economist
The geography of international economic relations is undergoing major changes as a result of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, growing geopolitical tensions, etc. Can these changes open a window of opportunity for Latin American economies?
Value chains and international economic flows in general have entered a period of transformation. The disruptions of recent years, and those expected in the future, have driven new developments, such as the rapprochement of supply chains, the relocation of productive activities to the countries of origin (reshoring), the approximation of these chains to nearby countries (nearshoring), the regionalization of international economic relations, and other developments with which economic agents are trying to react to risks and uncertainties.
Latin America has clear assets to exploit in its international economic projection. It has abundant reserves of raw materials, minerals and foodstuffs. It is geographically close to the world’s largest economy, the United States. It is far from the areas with the most serious actual or potential conflicts (Ukraine, Taiwan). In relation to Spain, there are strong cultural and human ties.
Traditionally, it has been said that Latin America was the natural area of expansion for Spanish companies. This idea should be qualified. In the first half of this year, Latin America was the destination of 4.6% of Spanish exports. Portugal alone, to give a reference, absorbed 8.2% of Spanish exports. In other words, Spain exports to Portugal almost twice as much as it exports to Latin America as a whole.
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