By Laura Gamba
BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) - Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Latin America and the Caribbean will likely plunge by as much as 55% this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a UN agency said in a report released Wednesday.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said the region received around $161 billion in foreign direct investment in 2019, down 7.8% from 2018, and it will intensify sharply due to the pandemic, according to the second chapter of the report, titled “Towards a new, post-pandemic global productive geography: The reorganization of global value chains.”
“The FDI received by Latin America and the Caribbean has not catalyzed relevant changes in the region’s productive structure, largely because the policies to attract these flows have not been articulated with those focused on productive development,” said the organization’s executive secretary, Alicia Bárcena. “FDI offers major opportunities to move towards a new sustainable economy.”
Europe is the most important investor in the region followed by the US, said the agency.
Latin America remains one of the most affected regions in the world by the coronavirus pandemic, with over 13 million cases.
Some countries in the region are still experiencing high infection rates, with Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia reporting large numbers of cases daily.
Brazil had a total COVID-19 count of more than 6.3 million and 173,817 fatalities as of Wednesday, according to a running tally by US-based Johns Hopkins University.
Although Argentina has imposed one of the longest lockdowns, the country has 1,432,570 cases and nearly 39,000 deaths. It is followed by Colombia, with over 1.3 million cases and 37,117 deaths.