Brazil leads the list of most influential states in Latin America in the ranking prepared by the online media company US News & World Report.
The list 'The best countries of 2019', produced annually by US News and World Report in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania, includes among its 'ranking' of 80 most influential nations in the world to several Latin American states.
In addition to the economy, the study analyzes, from a survey of more than 20,000 people, the political and financial influence of each country, as well as the strength of its armies.
Occupying half of the land surface of South America, Brazil is the giant of the continent, both in size and population. Its history is full of economic turbulence and its society is characterized by being a melting pot of cultures that has traditionally welcomed the whole world. Rich in natural resources, the Brazilian economy is active in the agricultural, manufacturing, mining and services sectors. The nation is the world's leading coffee producer. The country grew rapidly during the first decade of the 21st century and now has one of the largest economies in the world in terms of gross domestic product, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Mexico is the third largest country and the second most important economy in Latin America. The country has a developing market economy with strong ties to the US, its most important partner, although President Donald Trump is committed to changing the conditions of this economic relationship in the coming years. Likewise, Mexican workers who live in their northern neighbor send billions of dollars in remittances to their country each year. Most of the Mexican economy depends on services: trade, transportation, finance and the public sector account for about two thirds of the gross domestic product. The country is a major exporter and producer of oil. Mexico hosts the largest population of Spanish speakers in the world and has left a great cultural imprint in Latin America and beyond. The country's film industry is one of the largest in the region, and many Mexican actors and filmmakers have received international recognition.
Colombia is the second most populous Spanish-speaking country. Classified as a middle-high income economy, this is one of the largest in Latin America, according to the IMF. Like many South American nations, its economic activity is based on its rich natural resources. Oil, coal, gold and coffee are its main export products. The textile industry and services such as telecommunications, together with tourism, are also strong economic components.
The World Bank rates Argentina as a high-income nation. The economy of the country is driven by the manufacturing industry, agricultural exports, natural resources and the service industry, among which a tourism boom stands out. The population has a high literacy rate and the report on the gender gap in the world of the World Economic Forum, which assesses women's access to resources and opportunities compared to men, gives Argentina a relatively high rating. Argentina also stands out for its great cultural wealth, with an important literary, musical and artistic tradition.
Despite having a large number of natural resources, from copper to wood and shrimp, the Panamanian economy, which uses the US dollar, is mainly based on services, mainly, activities around the Panama Canal and the Free Zone. The commerce of Columbus. The low regulation of tax-free extraterritorial banking has attracted large amounts of foreign investment and the beautiful landscapes attract tourists. The country has made great progress in poverty reduction in general, but the World Bank points out that there are still marked regional differences.
Guatemala has the largest economy in Central America, according to the World Bank, and its GDP has grown steadily in the 21st century. Services, manufacturing and agriculture are its main sectors, while remittances sent by Guatemalans living abroad are an important source of income for the nation. Despite the growth of its economy, inequality persists in the country. Poverty is widespread, affecting the indigenous population disproportionately, and the gap between rich and poor is among the highest in Latin America.
The discovery of oil in the territory of Ecuador in the mid-twentieth century helped boost the Ecuadorian economy beyond agriculture and fueled progress in social services such as health and education. However, this created a new dependency that has left Ecuador prey to the effects of falling oil prices. To curb inflation and ease the recession, Ecuador replaced its currency, the sucre, with the US dollar in 2000. Despite significant progress in development, high rates of poverty and inequality persist, especially affecting the population indigenous.
Much of the world's copper, silver and gold come from Peru, which has benefited greatly from the high international prices of these products. At the same time, the country competes with Colombia for the first place in cocaine production. "A significant part of its internal product comes from drug trafficking and other organized crimes, including illegal mining, "says US News & World Report.
Chile's open market economy focuses on its natural resources (mining, agriculture and fishing) and international trade. Compared to the rest of Latin America, Chile obtains better scores in human development and per capita income. International institutions have praised the country for reducing the number of poor, but they also note that inequality remains high, in part, because of their unequal access to quality education.
Costa Rica has been one of the most politically and economically stable countries in Central America since its emergence in the nineteenth century and managed to avoid much of the conflicts that affected its neighbours in the 1970s and 1980s. Exports of agricultural products such as banana, coffee and sugar form the backbone of their economy. Years of political stability and a relatively highly educated workforce have made the country attractive for foreign investment. On the other hand, periods of strong economic growth have not erased the persistent problems with poverty and inequality. In 2017, the World Bank defined the country as a middle-high income nation.
The main industries in Uruguay are livestock raising, the production of products of animal origin and tourism. Its main exports are meat, wool and skins. Uruguay was the only country in the Americas that did not experience a recession between 2007 and 2009, and in 2005 it was the first South American country to export software, a great advantage for its economy. Founding member of MERCOSUR, Uruguay is a member of regional organizations such as the Rio Group and the Latin American Integration Association.