Latin America’s Richest Country

Latin America’s Richest Country

Panama is now the sixth richest country in Latin America in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), per capita Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). For 2009 Panama’s GDP (PPP) was $11,788 and increasing 1.8% for the year, according to a report issued by the Latin Business Chronicle. Meanwhile, according to the same report, Argentina dethroned Chile as the richest country in Latin America. Argentina’s GDP (PPP) last year was $14,561 with an increase of 1.1% over 2008, while Chile ranked second with a GDP (PPP) of $14,341 and a decline of 1.7% for 2009. The study was conducted with data provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the publication that specializes in Latin American business. However, Latin Business Chronicle recognizes the classification is not without “controversy” because “many economists doubt Argentina’s official statistics” used by the IMF as the basis for the data. Mexico was in third place with a GDP (PPP) of $13,628 and a decrease of 6.2% for last year, according to the publication. (Panama America)

Editor’s Comment: Keep your eyes on these numbers. I have been predicting for years that eventually Panama will become the richest country in Latin America in terms of GDP (PPP). This will certainly happen within our lifetimes, and nothing short of a massive natural disaster can keep it from happening. Once the project to expand the Panama Canal is complete in 2014, canal revenue will increase from about $2 billion per year today to more than $5 billion. This, in a relatively small country with about 3.5 million inhabitants. Take a look at this chart I prepared below, based on Panama economic country data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). You can see how Panama’s economy improved markedly after the restoration of democracy, and then it took a couple of years after Panama regained control of the Panama Canal for things to really take off. The IMF projects their data with predictions through 2015, and they think that Panama’s GDP (PPP) will be $16,505 by then. I think the economies of other countries in Latin America will grow as well, but few will grow as much or as fast as Panama’s. I also predict every year we will see Panama move up a place or two on this list of the “Richest Countries in Latin America.” This year Panama is the sixth richest country. Then it will be fourth. Then it will be second. And eventually Panama will take it’s place as the richest country in Latin America, and I wonder if any other country in Latin America will ever be able to unseat them. No other country in Latin America has a money maker equivalent to the Panama Canal, which happens to be in a very small country with a relatively small population. More and more foreign direct investment keeps pouring in for things like infrastructure improvements, gold and copper mines, now oil exploration. As I said before, nothing short of a massive natural disaster can derail this train.

Contributed by: Don Winner

I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come indirectly through accident, except the phonograph. No, when I have fully decided that a result is worth getting, I go about it, and make trial after trial, until it comes.

Thomas Edison

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