Latin America is home to 670 million people and has huge potential to capitalise on abundant natural resources, economic reforms, human capital, and increased innovation in technology. It continues to be important for Santander's future growth.
The region has great strengths in agricultural production, sustainable tourism, health-related manufacturing and renewable energy. It also has significant reserves of critical minerals that are vital to the development of the green transition. Finally, skilled human capital is another key strategic strength of the region and brings education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Chile also stand to gain from disruption in global supply chains. They have received part of the investment opportunities generated by the nearshoring trend - and the region has also experienced higher foreign direct investment. Growing adoption of technology in the region allows many to access credit for the first time and is a source of jobs growth. As a hotbed of innovation, it attracts local and international investors.
Santander has been a major presence in Latin America for more than 75 years where it serves over 90 million customers. It works closely with some of the biggest brand names but has also provided around €1 billion in microfinance loans to low-income and underbanked entrepreneurs in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Perú to support them set up and grow their businesses.
“Latin America will play a critical role in the future global economy because of its natural resources, young population and skilled human capital. Historically, the region has suffered a wave of balance of payments and debt crises, but Latin American central banks have been more decisive in this period of global economic uncertainty and there has been no crisis. It reflects how institutions in the region have made progress.”
Amid recent global shocks, Latin America’s ability to adapt and to continue to make progress will underpin the region’s ability to fully achieve its potential.