Brazil and Latin America, a US$ 74 Billion Regional Trade Power

Trade among the Latinamerican Integration Association (ALADI) members, which include Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Central American countries, is forecasted to reach US$ 74 billion this year, 24% higher that in 2004.

An ALADI report shows that "during the first nine months of 2005 trade among the association members remains steady although at a more modest rate than in 2004, which was a historic year with 37%. Anyhow the trade flow increase in this period is 26.5%, which is significant".

Trade in 2004 between Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Mexico, Venezuela and Uruguay reached almost US$ 60 billion and 2005 estimates reach US$ 74 billion. This figure does not include Cuba, since information is not forthcoming.

As to imports the report indicates that growth is also even and with the exception of Paraguay, at relatively high rates with a minimum 16% for Brazil and 62% for Venezuela. Several countries have a significant incidence in the global regional imports growth figure, Argentina leads with 21%; Chile 15%; Mexico 12% and Brazil 11%.

However while Argentina, Chile and Venezuela show persistent import dynamism, Brazil is decelerating and Mexico remains rather stable. More specifically Mexico expanded steadily during 2004, but in the first seven months of 2005, the imports influx remained stable in the range of US$ 800 million per month".

Regarding exports, the report indicates a "relatively extended expansion" and with the exception of Paraguay, the rest of ALADI members show strong surge from 7.3% in Uruguay to 53.4% in Peru.

"Brazil’s incidence represents 37% of total regional sales expansion, followed by Venezuela with 13.6%; Argentina 11.9%; and to a lesser extent Mexico, Colombia and Chile each of them between 7.6% and 9.5%, adds the report.

Finally in export terms regional trade seems more concentrated than with imports, with Brazil leading with 35%, followed by Argentina with 20.6%, who have become the main suppliers.

This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.

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