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Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2010

image of Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2010

In 2010, the Latin American and Caribbean region showed great resilience to the international financial crisis and became the world region with the fastest-growing flows of both inward and outward foreign direct investment (FDI). The upswing in FDI in the region has occurred in a context in which developing countries in general have taken on a greater share in both inward and outward FDI flows. This briefing paper is divided into five sections. The first offers a regional overview of FDI in 2010. The second examines FDI trends in Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic. The third describes the presence China is beginning to build up as an investor in the region. Lastly, the fourth and fifth sections analyze the main foreign investments and business strategies in the telecommunications and software sectors, respectively.

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Foreign direct investment in the software industry in Latin America

Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2008 assessed FDI in offshore business services (offshoring) in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Offshoring refers to the provision of services from a location outside the country where the customer is located, through the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs). Offshore business services cover a broad range of activities, including contact centres, business processes, information technology (IT) services, and knowledge-intensive, analytical services. FDI in offshore business services is regarded as a high-quality investment because it can contribute to the economic, technological and social development of countries even if it does not entail substantial investment outlays. Specifically, such investment brings workers into the global labour market, creating new sources of income, jobs and exports. This is to the benefit of economies that are largely dependent on natural resources or low-value-added manufactured goods (ECLAC, 2009).

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