Why Are So Many Expats Attracted to Latin America?
There are very few in the way of positives to come out of the US mortgage crisis which then led to the worldwide economic downturn, the collapse of the Euro and budget deficit issues across the globe. However, if there is one area of the world which seems to have benefited from this turmoil it has to be Latin America which is now attracting record numbers of expats looking for new ventures and a new homeland.
The question on the lips of many people is, why is Latin America attracting so many expats and what is going on in the vicinity?
When you bear in mind that Brazil is already in the top 10 largest economies in the world and Mexico is not far behind, it is not difficult to see the economic benefits of moving to the area. The likes of Brazil, Mexico and Colombia for example have also been very forthright in their sustain for block trade agreements between Latin America and other areas of the world. This has produced an ecosystem where economic growth will be extremely positive for the short to medium term and the long term benefits of the structural change in Latin American economies will certainly come to the fore.
When you compare the performance of Latin American economies, which are expected to grow by anything between 2% and 8% in 2013, against another year of recession for the Eurozone and more problems in America, it is not difficult to see the attractions.
Political stability has been a major issue in years gone by although over the last decade we have seen structural changes in the areas political framework. Markets across Latin America are now more open to overseas investors, new markets have been introduced to the mix and international companies are now clambering over themselves to get a piece of the action. It has to be said that political stability was perhaps the first piece of the jigsaw, a jigsaw which is certainly looking very bright and very colourful.
When you consider there have already been changes in Colombia, which was for many years the centre of the Latin American socialist movement, we can only begin to imagine what will happen in the years to come. The great majority of the Latin American community have now been freed to take control of their own future, new business opportunities are arising on a regular basis and the historic dependence on the US for trade has been reduced slightly. The political arena we see today is very different to that of 20 years ago or already 10 years ago, long may it continue!
There are many different factors which come into play when looking to move to a new country including the economy, political stability, culture but one thing which is very often in the upper minds of expats is crime. While this is an issue which has been very common across all of Latin America it is countries such as Mexico which have perhaps borne the brunt with drug gangs, corruption and blackmail noticeable in years gone by.
A knock-on effect to the stable political arena was a reduction in crime and the issue of new inventive actions to reduce the influence of drug gangs and other criminal fraternities across the vicinity. The marked reduction in crime across the vicinity has not only given expats more confidence to venture away from the beaten track put in many ways it has reinvigorated the local population to fight back and make a stand against crime. It would be wrong to suggest that crime has been beaten, that the drug gangs and the criminal fraternity have turned their back on Latin America, but their influence has certainly been reduced of late.
Tourism, infrastructure investment and social projects out with the major cities of Latin America are now standard. This will allow more and more of the Latin American population to assistance from the economic wealth, assistance from the reduction in crime and assistance from the growing interest of the expat community.
When you look at the economies of Latin America, the reduced rate of crime and the more stable political arena, it is not difficult to see why more and more expats are now looking to this area of the world. When you also take into account the turmoil within Europe and the troubles within North America, the economies of Latin America look as stable and as attractive as they ever have been. Who would have thought this less than 20 years after Brazil was on the verge of bankruptcy and the IMF had to step in with an emergency loan?
The Latin America that we see today is very different to that of 20 years ago or already 10 years ago. Economies are growing, unemployment is down and international investors, who once saw the vicinity are something of an economic basket case, are now flocking to the area. Expats are growing in number and they are beginning to appreciate not only the local culture but the local way of life.