Latin American countries are very different not only because of its social and cultural aspects, but also because of their economic policies. Latin America has about 600 million inhabitants and a GDP of $ 5,629 billion in 2012. The growth of GDP in 2012 was 2.9% and it is expected to be 3.7% in 2017 (International Monetary Fund).
The largest Latin American economies by GDP are Brazil with $ 2.253 billion, followed by Mexico with $ 1.177 billion and Argentina with $ 475 billion. In addition, the most developed economies in terms of GDP per capita PPP are Chile ($ 18,419), Argentina (18.112) and Uruguay (15.865USD) income.
In July 2013, the World Bank categorized economies of Chile and Uruguay as high-income economies, being the first time in history that Latin American countries obtained such a status.
The countries where agriculture has a higher weight are Paraguay (55%), Argentina (27%) and Brazil (20%). Brazil is the world’s largest producer of coffee, oranges and sugar cane. One of the most important industries in the continent is oil, representing 63% in Venezuela exports, 46% in Ecuador, 40% in Colombia and 37% in Bolivia. In mining sector, Chile is the largest producer of copper, lithium and iodine, and Peru is the largest producer of silver. In Mexico, the main engine of the economy is the manufacturing sector with the 37% of GDP. However, Panama and Costa Rica are economies based mainly in services.
Since 2000 foreign direct investment in Latin America has increased and in 2012 173.361 million dollars was reached. The largest receptors of foreign investment are Brazil, Mexico and Chile, being USA and Europe the main investors.