Except for technology, CEOs are pessimistic about Brazil.
BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
CEOs are bullish about Colombia and Peru, optimistic about Mexico and pessimistic about Brazil, according to a Latinvex survey of half a dozen key business executives in Latin America.
“With few exceptions such as Colombia and Peru, the business environment in the region deteriorated in 2014 and that process will continue in 2015,” says Jaime Ardila, President of South America for General Motors, the largest automaker in the United States. “Mexico is implementing fundamental reforms and will benefit from the recovery of the U.S. economy, but the recent security and corruption issues may put the government on the defensive and limit its ability to accelerate the process.”
Woods Staton, CEO and Chairman of Argentina-based Arcos Dorados (the world’s largest McDonald’s franchisee), sees Latin America divided into two main blocks. “Latin America seems to increasingly appear like a two-track region,” he says. “In 2015, we will see economic policies drive the two tracks in the region further apart. One group of countries is growing its GDP healthily and is aligned with the Pacific Alliance (countries such as Mexico, Peru [and] Colombia), while the other (Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil) veers towards negative or very low GDP growth.”
Overall, many CEOs are upbeat about Latin America. “The outlook for Latin America in 2015 is extremely positive,” says José S. Suquet, Chairman, President and CEO of Pan-American Life Insurance Group. “The significant growth and development that we’ve seen in the region over the last few years has created a new middle class and with that comes greater demand for more sophisticated products and services. I think that trend, boosted by renewed growth in the United States, will continue and offer companies, including Pan-American Life, tremendous opportunities.”
That optimism is shared by Romaine Seguin, President of the Americas at UPS, the world’s largest shipping and logistics company.
“Latin America ...
Arcos Dorados, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, corruption, Costa Rica, Ecuador, education,
General Motors, Guatemala, health, insurance, Mexico, Pacific Alliance, Panama, Pan-American Life, Peru, SAP, security,
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