Latin America and the Caribbean received US$153.448 billion from foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2011, which represents 10% of the global total flows. This was released today in a report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Santiago, Chile.
ECLAC’s Unit on Investment and Business Strategies, Division of Production, Productivity and Management produced the report which described the flow as the largest amount of FDI received by the region so far. In 2010, the region received US$120.880 billion, whereas in 2009, due to the international economic crisis, investments decreased to US$81.589 billion. Until then, the highest record had been registered in 2008, when investments amounted to US$137.001 billion.
In 2011, the main foreign direct investment recipients in the region were Brazil (US$66.660 billion, representing 43.8% of the total of flows into the region), Mexico (US$19.440 billion), Chile (17.299 billion), Colombia (US$13.234 billion), Peru (US$7.659 billion), Argentina (US$7.243 billion), Venezuela (US$5.302 billion) and Uruguay (US$2.528 billion). Of these countries, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay reached historic records. In Central America, FDI incomes increased by 36% compared to 2010, where the amounts received by Panama (US$2.790 billion), Costa Rica (US$2.104 billion) and Honduras (US$1.014 billion) stand out. In the Caribbean, flows soared by 20% compared to the previous year, with the Dominican Republic at the head with US$2.371 billion.
"In spite of the prevailing uncertainty in global financial markets, Latin American and Caribbean economies attracted important amounts of foreign direct investment during 2011. These amounts should remain high in 2012," said Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena.
In 2011, 46% of the net income deriving from FDI was due to profit re-investments, whilst the remaining percentage was due to capital contributions and loans among companies. According to the Organization, this denotes the trust of transnational companies in the region and important business opportunities within it.
The report notes that FDI in The Bahamas also increased considerably to US$ 840 million in the first nine months of 2011, equivalent to 45% more than in 2010, largely the result of the Baha Mar major tourism project.