Latin American Business Environment Report (LABER)

This annual report, written by CIBER Associate Director Terry McCoy, provides a comprehensive examination of Latin American business conditions. It tracks social, political and economic trends both for the entire region and its 20 largest markets individually.

2012 LABER Executive Summary

Latin America, which turned a corner over the past decade from economic stagnation and volatility to sustained growth and macroeconomic stability, encountered headwinds during 2012, but the environment for business and investment was still fundamentally sound in most if not all countries. While the rate of GDP growth slowed in response to the global slowdown, the region's economies again outperformed the advanced economies. Just as important, the social gains, centrist politics and market-friendly policies of those countries that opted for the social market model in the 1990s remained in place.

LABER classifies the region's 18 largest economies into three broad categories – attractive, problematic, and mixed – according the overall character of their business environments. The table further indicates the yearly performance as improved (up), deteriorated (down), no significant change (=) or uncertain (?). Changes in 2012 were not of a magnitude to either upgrade or downgrade any of the environments, although Argentina was headed toward a problematic rating due to lower growth, increased imbalances and erratic policies. The regional outlook for 2013 was again guarded because of the economic slowdown in China as well as the Eurozone debt crisis, tepid growth and the fiscal crisis in the U.S.

Latin American Business Environments

  2011 Environment 2012 Environment 2012
  Attractive Problematic Mixed Attractive Problematic Mixed Outlook
Mexico =     =     up
Dom Rep up     =     up
Costa Rica up           =
El Salvador     =     = =
Guatemala     =     = up
Honduras     up     up ?
Nicaragua   up     =   =
Panama =     =     =
Bolivia   up   = =   =
Colombia down     =     up
Ecuador   =     =   ?
Peru upup     up     =
Venezuela   down     =   =
Argentina     up     up down
Brazil up     down     up
Chile =     =     =
Paraguay     =     up up
Uruguay up     up     =
Totals 9 4 5 9 4 5  

Read the entire report.

Published LABE Reports for prior years available in PDF format for viewing can be found on LA Business Environment-Publications.

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