Latin America is not a region of the world wanting for natural resources. Yet a toxic cocktail of poor policy, planning, politics and populism have resulted in lacklustre infrastructure and hostility to the foreign expertise needed to extract and export valuable minerals and gases.
Cash-strapped Bolivia, which can ill-afford to be sitting on its laurels when it comes to extraction and export, is a case in point. It has restarted a plant to produce ammonia and urea – both used as fertiliser – after years of inactivity. The plant faces several production challenges whilst transport infrastructure is insufficient to facilitate meaningful export activity. The Ukraine crisis has provided fertiliser production opportunities for the region, but with challenges like these, can Bolivia really step up to the plate?
In neighbouring Peru, the political crisis facing president Pedro Castillo deepens, we speak to experts who predict an administration falling within months. On the investment front, new outsourcing laws are worrying markets.
Central America – Nicaragua is struggling to attract FDI, few wish to do deals with the Ortega regime whilst in Panama price hikes to use its transcontinental canal reflect the increasing costs of maritime trade.
In Colombia, fracking meets environmental opposition as we look at how realistic the country’s ‘green’ hydrocarbon plan really is.
Finally, Latin America has always had a fixation with beauty, we dive into the world of cosmetics as ‘micro-entrepreneurs’ in Mexico are set to challenge the industry’s dominant players.
Until next time!