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Foreign direct investment in Latin America plunges 21%

Friday, October 16, 2015 - 06:46
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Foreign direct investment in Latin America dived 21 per cent in the first half of 2015, a UN commission said Thursday, the latest bad news for a region facing recession this year.

[SANTIAGO] Foreign direct investment in Latin America dived 21 per cent in the first half of 2015, a UN commission said Thursday, the latest bad news for a region facing recession this year.

FDI to 16 countries in the region fell to US$88.7 billion in the six months through June from the same period last year, said the UN's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

The commission warned earlier this month that Latin America's economies will contract 0.3 per cent this year, in line with forecasts by the International Monetary Fund.

FDI to the region tumbled 16 per cent last year.

ECLAC said the trend worsened in the first half of this year because of a "fall of investments in mining and hydrocarbons due to the reduction of international prices, China's deceleration and the region's negative economic growth... in particular Brazil."

The FDI contraction was sharpest in ailing Brazil, the region's largest economy, where it fell 36 per cent from January to August, the commission said.

But Colombia, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay all saw drops of more than 20 per cent, confirming what ECLAC called "a disturbing regional panorama."

Latin America enjoyed a so-called "golden decade" of economic growth in the 2000s, fueled largely by Chinese demand for raw materials, but has been hit hard by the Asian giant's slowdown and the corresponding chill in commodities prices.

AFP