International law and accountancy firm Biz Latin Hub conducted a survey asking for participants’ perceptions of doing business in Latin America. Responses received from participants in over 40 countries worldwide reveal cautious optimism for the region’s overall ability to bounce back from heavy restrictions put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19.
When asked about their future economic outlook, majority of respondents (45.3%), expressed overall positivity towards the region. Over half of respondents (57.3%) claimed to be considering future commercial expansion in the region. Notably, several Central American countries received mention from respondents as key opportunities for business development and growth in the region.
Costa Rica, Panama, and El Salvador earned recognition in several responses for their promising economic future and ability to recover from current economic pressures.
One respondent commented that Costa Rica was “very stable and overall attractive for outside investment with a highly skilled labor force.” Positivity towards this Central American country may be connected to its noted success in battling the Covid-19 pandemic. Craig Dempsey, Managing Director of Biz Latin Hub, noted “the data collected showed mixed attitudes towards current perceptions of the Costa Rican economy. However, only 16.7% of respondents expressed serious doubt about the country’s economic future in the regional context.”
Likewise, Panama was heralded for its resilience and opportunities for growth. Biz Latin Hub noted respondents operating in the country believed Panama “has always been recognized as a politically and economically stable country. In addition, in recent years it has had progressive economic growth, which attracts foreign investment.”* Others perceive the country to be actively developing “many plans for tourism and employment opportunities.”
El Salvador, often overshadowed by its high-performing neighbors, was also considered a beacon for future economic opportunity, despite some expected a slow recovery. Some respondents ultimately remained cautiously optimistic that El Salvador, among other bases of operations, “will begin to rebound as the health concerns come down.” One respondent operating solely out of El Salvador noted the country’s advantage as a “good bridge for international trade in the Central American region.”