Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Economy 2011-2012

Continuing Crisis in the Centre and New Opportunities for Developing Economies

image of Latin America and the Caribbean in the World Economy 2011-2012
The 2011-2012 edition focuses on the theme of continuing crisis in the centre and new opportunities for developing economies. Chapter I examines the difficult international economic situation and the outlook for the rest of the decade. Chapter II takes stock of the boom in commodity prices that began around 2003 and its evolving impact on the value of the region’s exports, drawing particular attention to the growing role of developing Asia, especially China, as a destination for commodity exports from Latin America and the Caribbean. Chapter III looks at recent performance and the short-term outlook for trade and economic integration in the region. It analyses foreign trade trends in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2011 and 2012 by main trading partner and category of product for the region overall and for the subregions. Chapter IV examines the international integration of Latin America and the Caribbean in relation to the trends discussed in the rest of the document.

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The commodity boom: Analysis and outlook

The rapid economic expansion of China and burgeoning Chinese demand for raw materials and food have triggered a boom in exports from Latin America and the Caribbean to China in recent years. Largely due to growing demand from China and other emerging economies, commodity prices (especially mineral and metal prices) have soared since the early 2000s. Both factors have contributed to growth in the commodity-exporting countries of the region (especially the South American countries). But they have also made these countries more dependent on the income generated by such exports, which poses several challenges. By contrast, the Central American economies and most Caribbean countries have, as net importers of primary goods, been hurt by rising commodity prices.

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