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Monday, May 07, 2007


A new United Nations report on foreign investments in Latin America should sound alarm bells throughout the hemisphere. It warns that the region is falling behind the rest of the world in attracting capital, and that multinational companies are losing interest in the area. Read about the report and my opinion about it here, and let us know what YOU think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

from: Paul Thørsen

Way to tell the truth, åndêrš.
Kudos to you!
Latin America needs people like you telling them why the many problems exist in Latin America.
But I notice you didn't propose a solution.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Wayne said...


11:47 AM  
Anonymous Tom Vose said...


I agree 100% - although my friend, a Fed Ex driver, asks if he can live with my family when he goes belly up!

Good column.


9:48 AM  
Anonymous Kent said...

Regarding your article "Latin American economic report shows slow
growth," I have to agree with your suggestion that Latin American
leaders need to look closely at the report and learn from those
countries that are doing far better at attracting investment. Though I
have my doubts they will.

I live in Panama. Before moving here, I was in manufacturing for 26
years as a technical contributor, operations manager and finally
engineering manager.

If I were asked to start a manufacturing plant here, I would have to question the sanity of those doing the asking.

First off, let me say that I love it here. I've acclimated to the
difference in culture. However, most all the English-speakers would agree with what I'm about to write.

While the Panamanian people are delightful and--in general--very
hardworking, there seems to be something in the water here. There seems to be an absolute inability to plan or to follow instructions to the letter. In building a house, like I've done, this means it'll cost a bit more money and that the owner had better be on site each day to maintain proper direction of the project. Somewhat painful, but doable. Lots of us have done it.

In manufacturing, however, these inabilities would be death to the

The schools don't help. They seem to be mostly child-care centers and
centers for rote learning. Not that I'm a big fan of the products of the American system, but, as lacking as they might be in comparison to the kids taught in Asia or Europe, they are better prospects for employment
compared to the average Panamanian kid.

Unfortunately, the Asian worker will work for the same wage as the
Panamanian worker and s/he'll produce a more acceptable product. (Yeah, I know, a lot of Chinese products are crap. But give them five years).

I get the feeling that the government doesn't give a damn. That the incapability we see in the worker ensures that the class system of the upper levels of society is maintained. I also believe this unwillingness
or inability to shakeup the system may be one of the reasons that
leftists have made big inroads in the region.

People here may shake their heads at Chavez, but they listen when he says he wants to help put in a North to South oil pipeline across western Panama and build a refinery here.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as Latin America believes it can always blame the United States for everything that goes wrong in their countries, there will never be progress. Only hard work, good education, self help, starting at the level of families and villages, working itself up through counties, states and finally countries, governments, etc. will bring the positivie changes required including fair attention to business investments of any kind, domestic or foreign. Is it not curious to observe that while the leftist leaders of Latin America blame the US for everything that goes wrong in their regions, their dependents transfer their savings to the US for safe keeping because they can not trust their own financial systems? How come they continue purchasing huge quantities of consumer goods in Miami? How come they purchase houses? I am not talking about those who flee these leftist regimes, but of those who are sympathizers and part of the governmental structure who come to the US behaving just as all Latin Americans that had some money always behaved?

12:43 PM  
Anonymous sakthi said...

China,Eastern Europe,India and other countries are showing increase in Foreign Investments year by year, all the above countries working hard to build new industries and developing the old ones.Untill they rapidly shows increase in revenues there is no problem in getting foreign investments.Investors will mainly look for get better profit,so they will go where they can get more..
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