The region: different growths
The macroeconomic figures that show the sub region they are good, being
maintained the positive as in 2005.
It, despite that begins to be seen signs of deceleration.
Nevertheless, this good result is not similar for all the countries and
even necessarily is not related in a direct way with the percentages of the
The region continues being vulnerable to the external effects: at the
end of last decade, in a negative sense on account of the effects of the Asian
Crisis and today, in favorable terms thanks al dynamism of the world economy
and of the exporting demand of countries as China.
What should be evaluated are the degrees of armor that the domestic
economies achieved in the years in which the growth is good.
The form as was faced the economic growth permits to draw a dividing
line among the South American economies.
It is not the same thing the high growth reckoned of Venezuela, in the
middle of the petroleum prosperity, that the growth moderate of Brazil. In the first case an endemic
distribution of an rent economy is reprinted, while in the second advances in
consolidating reforms that do solid the growth achieved.
Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Uruguay show -in different degrees –a
solid growth that, arrived the moment of deceleration, they will receive a more
On the other hand, there are countries of artificial growth, almost only
scenografic, that can impress in some cases (Venezuela and Argentina) by its
percentages, but it express train a direct reflection of the good behavior of
the exports as well as of the distorting intervention of the State in the
economy through the price controls or of stiff regulatory frameworks. The two countries mentioned, more
Bolivia, they have opted for discouraging and to bother to the foreign
Equator and Paraguay should be added to the list, only that in the last
case by the proximity to be included in a category of failed State, their
vulnerabilities (corruption, contraband, crime organized) darken since already
any statistical growth.
Argentina of Kirchner is a dramatic strategic vision lack example to be
presented the theme of the development from the high index of growth of recent
The focus politicized has carried al government to prioritize the short
time limit, like the cooption of leaders 'piqueteros' to be assured in the
immediate thing a governability guaranteed, besides the investments in
infrastructure, even in energy matter where, besides itself hidden to the
population the reality of the sector through the use of the subsidy.
The case of the Brazil
Different is the case of Brazil. The president Lula dissipated the fears
that the community of business had on its government and showed a long-range
look al to deepen the reforms of its ancestor, of which was an opponent, al to
control even with sacrifice of its popularity the inflation and al to refuse to
apply measures populists when was seen affected by the crisis of corruption of
the Party of the Workers.
Hegemony and confrontation
In the quarter in analysis has remained in marked evidence the eagerness
of the government of the president Hugo Chávez by achieving positions
politically hegemonic as in the region: the subscription of the Commercial
Treaty of the Towns that links to Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela, whose global
economic meaning can be reduced, but whose political symbolism consists of
being presented as comparison to the subscription in Agreement of Free Commerce among USA and Colombia and Peru.
The agreement prompted by Chávez will signify the contribute of
financial resources to Bolivia to subsidize the acquisition of petroleum and/or
to build infrastructure gasiform.
The petroleum prosperity that has Venezuela permits to support an
important part of the requests of the Bolivian economy.
Chávez plant a focus of confrontation in the search of the construction
hegemonic and the it express train in the attacks and retaliations to who
considers an obstacle. Is also of
political order, the incorporation of Venezuela al Mercosur as full
In fact, the Caribbean country should enlarge its tariffs in some
products to be put to tone with the high rates of the countries signatories of
the tried Assumption.
The Mercosur, company tensioned by crisis among its native members,
Venezuela will fortify the most radical pole -up to now headed by Argentina-
counting for it, with the contest of an associated member, Bolivia.
There is no doubt that the purpose of Chávez is to head -probably with
Brazilian opposition- a referring one of traditional integration and to record
it in its permanent politics of confrontation with USA. Does not it stop resulting curious
that, in parallel al mentioned income, have subscribed an agreement of
Strategic Alliance with Argentina.
Venezuela and Argentina
The incident of Venezuela in the economy and the politics of Argentina
is another fact of growing importance. Meaning contribute of resources with the
purchase by the government of Caracas of bonds of the public debt Argentina;
important meaning energy agreements through which Hugo Chávez intends to build
a pipeline toward the Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, with the attraction to
offer petroleum subsidized in exchange for having inherencies in the
political-strategic decisions of the countries apparently benefited.
At the same time, the administration Kirchner, for whom the strategic
alliances they have a relative value determined by the joint, in this case
finds in the Venezuela present greater ideological convergence.
Ecuador and de crude oil
The Venezuelan financial presence also causes feels in Ecuador through
the subscription of an agreement between the two state petroleum businesses, by
virtue of which Ecuador will provide crude oil and Venezuela will deliver
products refined what imports a decrease of cost for the Ecuadorian State.
It is a profitable covenant for this country given its great lack in
infrastructure renewal matter, especially in the aspect of refining and
profitable for the government of Chávez that earns spaces of political
influence in a traditionally unstable country, where the revolutionary populism
can be written down in the Government or to be a prominent social and political
Venezuela and Paraguay
To this agreement should be added the possibility that studies the
government of Caracas to buy part of the debt of the Paraguayan state business
Itaipú in which can permit him to have inherencies in the administration of the
abundant water resources of Paraguay, another advance in the search of the
hegemony of its geopolitical interests.
In the quarter in analysis the crucial, legal security for the arrival,
consolidation and expansion of the investments, is shown in precarious state in
various countries of the region: high risk expropriator in Venezuela, Bolivia
and Equator; increment of the discretionarily in the regulatory factor in
Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia and Equator; and political intimidation to the
investments, in Argentina, Bolivia and Venezuela.
The risk expropriator has been expressed in Venezuela through the way to
take the immediate control -on the part of the State- of the mines of gold and
diamonds that be considered unproductive, and through the expropriation of the
productive businesses that refuse to celebrate a new contract of concession that
establishes a 'joint venture' where the State have majority presence. Is
somewhat similar to what happened at the end of 2005 in the private petroleum
In Bolivia, once nationalized the hydrocarbons, the government has
announced the expropriation of lands that do not comply with a social function
-obviously determined by the State- or that have been acquired illegally, where
diverse agricultural grounds of Brazilians are included, located in the
frontier zone. Also the
appropriation by the State of the actions that Administrative of pension Fund,
of Swiss and Spanish capitals, they had in petroleum businesses
nationalized. Finally, the
announcement that the State will assume the control of the majority of the
actions of six mixed businesses in the areas of energy, railroads and
An expression of risk expropriator there was in Equator when the
government decides to expropriate the deposits of Western Petroleum (Oxy),
explained as the culmination of a judicial process initiated when said tanker
transferred the 40% of the rights of exploitation in Equator to the Canadian
Encana without communicating it al State.
A clear threat of expropriation is the warning of the president Nestor
Kirchner to the private enterprises that operate in the energy sector that will
expire them itself the concessions when be considered, by the government, that
its investments do not register the adequate levels. In this manner the authority wants to avoid that the
businesses of the sector concentrate their attention in the most productive
zones and they leave abandoned the deposits of smaller performance.
Discretionarily in the change of the regulatory framework is notified in
Venezuela where the government altered the taxation of the private enterprises
that operate in the petroleum refining.
In a unilateral way decided to enlarge the tax to the income to the
foreign companies of a 34% al 50% and the payment of royalty since the 16,67%
The same discretionarily in the variation of the tax rules is it imposed
by the Argentine government to the importing countries of its natural gas,
especially to Chile, transferring of that form to you said consumers the
increment of prices of the natural gas that acquires of Bolivia.
Kirchner rejected the alternative to negotiate a tax readjust and opted
for imposing it compulsively although it value to know not agreements of gas integration that are in force.