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Investing In Latin America
The Latin American middle class is growing, becoming more prosperous, traveling and buying things. Companies like the Marriott hotel chain are expanding across the Caribbean and Latin America. Brazil and Mexico are vying to be the new Latino superpowers. Oil finds in the deep water off the coast of Brazil may put it ahead of Saudi Arabia in terms of oil reserves. Those wishing to invest offshore from their nation of origin may wish to look to Latin America, and not just the obvious choices like Brazil and Mexico. Investing offshore is not just about tax havens. Latin America is growing economically and the smart investor can be part of this.
As we note in our article, Profiting in Panama, this little nation on the land bridge between Central and South America has been growing at the same rate as China. Like the Asian economic power, Panama did not have a recession. Its economic growth rate fell to around 3.5% which is what the USA would love to have in good times. Malls in Panama City, Panama rival the best in the USA. Latin Americans fly to Panama, shop at the malls in Panama City, and start and end their Caribbean cruise from the Caribbean port of Colon, Panama. Some of this is because Homeland Security rules have made it difficult for Latinos to enter the USA. Some is because Latin America is growing and becoming more prosperous. For the investor this means money.
This nation has had to deal with an insurrection in its jungle in the Amazonia for over fifty years. This has been similar to the civil wars that burdened Central America for decades. However, the government has pushed the rebellion out of the cities and has the remaining rebel forces on the run. This provides investment opportunity is a country the size and population of California with abundant natural resources and free trade agreements with the USA as well as virtually every other nation in Latin America. The Colombian peso has risen against the dollar more than any other currency in 2012. Thus, if you are interested in banking offshore, there may be worse things than putting some of your assets on deposit as Colombian Pesos or investing in property in Cartagena, Bogotá, or towns in the Colombian Cafetero such as Pereira, Manizales, Cali, or Medellin.
Belize used to be British Honduras. English is the national language although Spanish and indigenous dialects are spoken. Residency is possible for those with a normal social security check or pension and the cost of living is decidedly lower than in North America. Banking Belize is well known for the degree of discretion of its banks. If one wishes to move assets offshore a Belize bank owned by a Panama Corporation, owned by a Panama Foundation is a possibility.
Follow the Leaders
Look to where companies like Marriott are investing.