2022 ends and with this a year full of great challenges for Latin America, and one or another positive point, especially in economic terms. What are the improvements that the region has seen in the midst of its troubled reality?
LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández
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Leer en español: ¡No todo es malo! En esto mejoró Latinoamérica en 2022
There are only a few days left until the end of 2022, and we know that at a general and global level, it was not the best year in social, economic and political terms. To begin with, the war between Ukraine and Russia unleashed a domino effect crisis that reached Latin America.
The European conflict began to quickly affect the main world economies, such as the United States, which exponentially shot up the price of the dollar in the Latin American region. This ended up turning into higher inflation for the entire area.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Latin America and the Caribbean would have a setback in terms of the purchasing power of people with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as the protagonist. What ended in 2021 with a rate of 11.6%, will end 2022 with a figure of 14.6% in the region.
Even with this undeniable reality and on which local governments should place the magnifying glass, the truth is that not everything during the year that is about to end was bad in Latin America. In the midst of the crisis, there were figures that increased and culminated positively for what will be 2023.
According to a report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal), the number of employed people in the subcontinent has already reached those reported before the COVID-19 health crisis, whose first outbreaks were reported at the end of 2019.
To analyze this figure, one must talk about its counterpart: unemployment, an item whose positivism is measured by its reduction over time. In this order of ideas, for ECLAC it is worth celebrating the fact that between April and June of this year there was only a percentage of 7% of people unemployed, compared to 11.5% that appeared at the end of 2020.
Air Tourism Grew
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet established the definitive end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the truth is that many people, as well as companies and the States themselves, have already decided to leave the health crisis in the past, with 2022 being the year of the so-called “reactivation”.
Thus, several sectors of the economy saw significant growth in relation to 2021. Tourism is one of the most benefited. According to the company specialized in financial ratings, Fitch Ratings, by September of this year, air traffic in Latin America had recovered by 96.2% compared to the same period in 2021.
Among the airports that showed the greatest recovery are the Brazilian Viracopos with 112%; El Dorado (Colombia) with 103% and Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte de México with 102%.
A More Attractive Region for Investors?
Another quite positive point for Latin America and the Caribbean is that the Economic Climate Indicator (ICE) increased. In other words, the investment climate has improved. This was reported by a report from the Brazilian Institute of Economy, which ensures that ICE rose 11.8 points between the third and fourth quarters of 2022.
“The improvement in the ICE is associated with the behavior of the Current Situation Indicator (ISA) which advanced 22.7 points between the third and fourth quarters of 2022, up to 67.0 points. The Expectations Indicator (IE) changed by 0.6 points, which indicates stability, registering 66.1 points. This is also the first time since 2012 that ISA surpasses (even slightly) IE”, adds the report, thus showing that the inflow of foreign currency has had a “slight improvement”, although there is still much to grow and seek.
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Less Armed Conflicts
However, not all the improvements are related to the economy, because, according to the United Nations Organization (UN), human rights have also seen growth in the region, specifically in the area of armed conflicts.
For the president of the Human Rights Council of this organization, Federico Villegas, the glass is half full in this area, taking into account that although there are many negative aspects in the region. “Many developing countries and countries from the global south, which are on the Human Rights Council, have decided to address the evolution of their societies to see human rights differently and to improve and perfect their human rights institutions by changing their legislation.”
Under this aspect, Latin America has bet on peace processes in this 2022, being one of the regions "of those that have contributed the most to the progressive development of human rights."
“When we see the rest of the world regions that still resort to the use of force to resolve so many disputes, we have observed that despite our problems, our region is a region of peace, it is a region of disarmament, it is a region that it does not have weapons of mass destruction”, indicated the Argentine diplomat.
Finally, he assured that despite the differences that exist, the different countries of the region have learned to discuss them “democratically”, ratifying, for the most part, "international human rights instruments."