Untapped Economic Potential: What Can Latin America and the Caribbean Offer the World?
Latin America and the Caribbean have enormous untapped economic potential. Weak institutions, challenges with the rule of law, and mixed human rights conditions have inhibited investment, but the region has shown resilience in recent years, despite the severe impacts of the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In 2019, US foreign direct investment in the region reached $1.3 trillion and trade with the United States totaled $1.9 trillion. Given growing global demand for food, energy, and minerals for batteries and electric vehicles–such as copper and lithium– the region’s commercial ties to the United States and other regions could grow substantially. Nearshoring should also provide significant tailwinds in the years ahead. The US currently has trade agreements with 20 countries, of which 12 are in our region. That said, success will depend upon smart public policy, including strategic infrastructure investments.
On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, we hosted a discussion with public and private sector leaders from throughout the Americas about how Latin America and the Caribbean could strengthen economic ties with the United States and unlock the region’s potential.
Latin America Program
The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action. Read more
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