Latin America is one of the most dynamic growth regions of the world and a sourced of opportunity.

With a US$4.8 trillion economy, 600 million citizens and a growing middle-class, the countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean represent markets of growing importance for businesses and institutions looking to increase revenues by expanding beyond their home territories.

China's huge appetite for commodities does not overshadow the region's closest and highest ranking trading partner, the United States. The United States has been Latin America's biggest trading partner throughout much of the region's history, and this trend continues today.

In 2012 trade between the United States and Latin America topped $800 billion, more than three times the region's exchanges with China. It is also growing faster than U.S. trade with nearly any other region in the world—over 80 percent in the last decade. The lion's share occurs between the United States and Mexico ($460 billion, or some 58 percent of regional trade). U.S. commercial ties with Brazil and Venezuela follow, together totaling another 16 percent.

On the other side, the United States remains Latin America's premier market for value-added goods and services; businesses that create employment and wages that allow its economies to grow in a sustainable way.

For Latin America's seventeen countries, thirteen import more goods from the United States than anywhere else. This includes Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Venezuela, Honduras, and Mexico. Most of these imports are manufactured goods, including computers and computer accessories, telecommunication parts, cars, civilian aircraft, and machinery. For ten of the seventeen countries, the United States is the primary export destination. Most send raw materials—oil, minerals, and agricultural products—to the north.

The United States was the largest foreign investor in Mexico, as well as in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Paraguay. Most of this money concentrated on manufacturing, especially the chemical and the automobile industries. U.S. investments far surpass those made by China.

Where the United States' economic weight perhaps comes up short is in the area of government-backed development loans. Here the U.S. Export-Import Bank is much less active than China's Development Bank and Export-Import Bank (which outpace the U.S. Export-Import bank, World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank loans combined).

In Inter American Trends aim to provide of information and business services to think tanks, companies operating or considering investment in the region. It will be a 360 degree panorama of the region's trends.

Whether you are the chief executive of a medium sized corporation looking for information in areas such energy, political and business Inter American Trends is one of the must institutions to have in mind.


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