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Foreign investment: a good year

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Foreign direct investment in Latin America and the Caribbean last year reached a record high of $184 billion last year, according to the latest report by the UN's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Mexico was the second-biggest recipient with $38 billion, double the figure of the year before, largely due to the acquisition by brewer Anheuser-Busch Inbev of the Modelo beer company for $13 billion.

Foreign investment in Central America reached a record $11 billion, 21 percent higher than the previous year.

Panama was the regional leader at nearly $5 billion, 44 percent, of the total.

Panama was also the largest recipient of foreign investment in Latin America, as a percentage of the value of national production.

Costa Rica was second in Central America, with 25 percent of the total or $2.6 billion.

Each of the other countries of the region trailed by a considerable amount, especially El Salvador, which received less than $200 million, a drop of nearly three quarters, compared to the year before.

Investment in the services sector of both Panama and Costa Rica has been the main contributor to growth in foreign investment.

Energy investments have also grown, particularly in wind power.

Firms with investments in the region's wind energy sector include the UK's Globeleq, Spain's Gamesa and Finland's Wärtsilä.

In Guatemala, most of last year's $1.3 billion in foreign investment went to the natural resources sector, in particular three mining projects led by Canadian firms Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources, and Russia's Solway Group.

Telecoms and manufacturing were the main receivers of investment in Honduras, representing a third of a total of $1 billion.

Nicaragua saw a 5 percent growth to $850 million, mainly in the apparel and mining sectors.