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South America:
Economy Overview
Many countries of South America have extreme poverty rates, soaring up to 60% in Argentina while Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the area. Brazil's economy is distinguished by large mining, agriculture, industrial and service sectors, far exceeding the other countries in south America. Both Venezuela and Ecuador mainly rely on oil, while Suriname's economy is made mostly of the mining industry, unlike most countries who have large farming industries. Such as Uruguay, who mainly rely on argricultural exports to stimulate the economy. Chile has a high level of foreign trade.Over the past few years Colombia has experienced an expansion of over 7%. Guyana has also experienced economic growth mainly due to agricultural industries. Paraguay has a market economy. This country also re-exports imports, and sells them to nearby countries. Peru's location provides the countries with many different industries. With a recent economic growth, they now have low inflation and stable exchange rates.

(https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/region/region_soa.html)


Exports, Imports and Trade
Argentina is considered one of the most wealthy countries in South America. With the Pampas covering 20% of its land, agriculture accounts for about 60% if it exports, producing wheat. barley and corn and it also is the world's third largest producer of soybeans. They also have a thriving industry in textiles, food production and chemical products. Chile leads the world in the production of copper ore and owns about 20% of the known reserves. The hot dry summers make it ideal for wine production, and their grapes are shipped across the world. Also, taking up most of the west coast, it has the fourth largest fishing industry, processing an average of 6,502 tons of sardines, anchovies, mackerel and salmon each year. As you are beginning to find, many of the countries in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean have very high tourist rates due to their beaches and warm weather, as all three regions border the equator. Uruguay is one of them. Three-fourths of the country is also consumed by rich pasture and home to nearly 25,000,000 sheep and 10,000,000 cattle. This makes it one of the top ten wool and wool textile producers, as these products account for 20% of the countries exports. Cattle ranching is Paraguay's main industry however soybean flour and cotton make up half of its exports. Timber, vegetable oil and beef make up the remaining 50%. Many Bolivian mines lie high in the Andes mountains, producing tin, antimony and silver. Bolivia ranks 6th, 3rd and 9th in top ten in the world for the mining in each of these 3 types of metals (in order). The country also grows potatoes, soybeans, barley and wheat for their own use while their cash crops include sugarcane, cocoa beans, and coffee. However they make the most money from selling illegal coca plants. Brazil has immense natural resources and is also the largest country in South America. It is the third largest producer of beef and veal. They are also the world's leading producer of cocoa beans, coffee, oranges and sugarcane and the second largest grower of soybeans and bananas. They are also the leading producer of gold, manganese, and tin ore and the top steel maker of the region. Peru is the leading producer of copper, lead, tungsten, silver and zinc and has reserves of gold, iron ore and oil as well. However industrial problems within the country is causing a negative affect on the industry. The cold waters of Peru also provide for a great abundance of fish, but as it turns out, this industry is also being affected negatively. Every few years, when the El Niño arrives, the warm waters drives away the fish causing suffering of the fishermen. Another problem here is the illegal sale of the coca plant, which is then used to make the drug cocaine. This problem arises in a few countries of the region. In Ecuador oil makes up 40% of exports while beans corn and potatoes are the main crop. Here, bananas, cocoa, rice, coffee, oranges and wheat are grow along the coast mainly for export purposes. Colombia is one of the economically stronger countries of South America, but illegal drug trafficking has caused a serious problem. Now with US involvement they are constantly trying to stop these "drug lords." This country is also home to 60% of the worlds emeralds and the second largest producer of coffee. In Venezuela, 80% of its exports are oil production, ranking 7th in the world. Guyana's economy is mostly based on bauxite, gold, rice and sugar while Suriname's main exports are also bauxite, along with silver and shrimp which are mainly caught off their coast.

("South America." Millennium Family Encyclopedia. 65,141-2, 146-7, 285-6, 791-2. Print.)



Central America:
Economy Overview
Guatemala is one of the most popularized countries, most of their economy coming from labor. On the other hand, Belize is a small country that mainly relies on tourism. Honduras is the second poorest country here, with extreme unemployment rates. Nicaragua also has widespread unemployment, and has the second lowest per capita income in the Western Hemposhphere. El Salvador is also a small country and has the third biggest economy, however growth has been slow over the past few years. Costa Rica has a stable ecomey who's exports have become very diverse in the las 10 years due to the additoin of electronic manafacuring. Lastly, Panama has a well developed economy will soon be growing after the expansion of the Panama Canal is finished. (estimated to be completed in 2014)
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/region/region_cam.html

Exports, Imports and Trade

A few different crops make up the main exports of this area. Rich volcanic soil provides the ideal growing conditions for coffee beans. El Salvador is one of the countries with these ideal circumstances. Costa Rica is the first Central American country to grow the beans and now has some of the finest coffee in the world. Bananas are also their second leading cash crop. Like Costa Rica, Honduras grows mainly bananas and coffee on vast plantations. In fact, here bananas bring in 30% of the country's export income. Nicaragua's main industry is also mainly based on agriculture, growing cotton, coffee, sugar, bananas and meat for exports. Panama has a thriving fishing industry and its main catch is shrimp. Also, the Panama Canal splits the country in half making it easier for trade between the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. On each end of the canal is where Colón and Panama City are located, two large business centers providing banking, finical and industrial services. A free trade zone in Colón also enables goods to be imported and exported duty free. However Guatemalans go about trade much differentially. Farming makes up most of the industry and they mainly trade at local markets. Tourism is also a big industry here. About 500,000 people visit the Mayan Ruins each year.

("South America." Millennium Family Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. 193-5. Print.)



The Caribbean:
Economy Overview
What do you think of when you hear the word Caribbean? White sandy beaches, blue waters? Maybe a long relaxing vacation? Many of the countries here have huge tourism industries. They all lie along the equator, in the middle of warm Caribbean waters. Many people, in the US at least, hear vacation and automatically think of the beach, or an cruise to an island. Well many of these cruises sail to this area, supporting their economy.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/region/region_cam.html

Exports, Imports and Trade

With an annual production of 55,000,000 tons, sugarcane is Cuba's largest crop. It also accounts for 25% of St.Kitts's exports. Jamaica is the world's third largest producer in bauxite, from which aluminum is made. 22% of people in the Dominican Republic work on farms growing such crops like sugar, tobacco and cocoa. St. Vincent and the Grenadines produce the most arrowroot in the world, which is used as a thickening agent in foods and for glossy computer paper.
("South America." Millennium Family Encyclopedia. Vol.1, 172-5. Print.)
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