A rich part of our history and a key part of our future growth, mining is one of the most important economic sectors in South America.
The ability of the mining industry to remain a key economic driver for South America lies in its ability to be competitive on the world stage.
Although Canada is currently one of the main mining countries, we know that investment in mining is highly mobile in Latin America and the global competition for it is fierce. Being competitive means having access to key markets, an efficient regulatory system, a favorable tax system and a strong group of talents to face the skills shortage that is looming.
Ensuring that the mining industry can be as competitive as possible is a central focus, as we advocate:
- A competitive fiscal environment.
- An efficient and effective infrastructure network.
- A qualified and broad workforce.
Investment environment and open and fair international trade. Latin America and the Caribbean has been relatively resistant to the global slowdown of recent years. It has promoted competitiveness, creating state reforms. The region is focusing on improving its institutions, infrastructure, competence and, most importantly, the area of skills, technology and innovation.
Chile: (34th out of 148 worldwide), one position down from last year, remains the most competitive economy in Latin America. This is thanks to its traditional strengths: a strong institutional set-up with low levels of corruption and an efficient government, solid macroeconomic stability with a balanced public budget and low levels of public debt, as well as well-functioning markets with high levels of domestic competition and openness to foreign trade. In addition, Chile has made great strides forward with information and communication technology, almost doubling its Internet bandwidth capacity and expanding the number of Internet users. Notwithstanding these strengths, the country is held back by weaknesses in education (in particular in math and science) and investment in innovation.
Brazil: comes in at 55th place this year, hampered by a slight deterioration in some of the macroeconomic indicators, a tightening of access to financing, and the lack of sufficient progress in some of the most pressing challenges the country faces. Persistent sources of concern include the functioning of its institutions, government efficiency and low trust in politicians. Competitiveness is also held back by a lack of progress in improving the quality of overall infrastructure and education, coupled with an economy fairly closed to foreign competition. Notwithstanding these challenges, the country still benefits from important strengths, especially its large market size and its fairly sophisticated business community. Going forward, Brazil should not postpone further necessary reforms to further leverage its numerous and important strengths.
Mexico: ranks 56th overall. It continues to benefit from a relatively stable macroeconomic environment , a sound banking system, a large and deep internal market allowing for important economies of scale, reasonably good transport infrastructure , and a number of sophisticated businesses, particularly for a country at its stage of development. At the same time, the country has started to undertake some important and long-overdue reforms in the labor market and education. Moreover, further reforms in the goods and service market intended to increase levels of competition in key strategic sectors, notably in the energy sector, are expected. Pressing challenges include domestic competition, a skills gap due to a poor-quality educational system, and labor market rigidities. In addition, to boost its competitiveness. Mexico should strengthen its institutions, tackle corruption, boost security and foster both information communication technologies and innovation.
Colombia: At 69th place overall, Colombia continues to show very positive macroeconomic conditions, with a balanced public budget, low levels of public debt and inflation that is under control at around 3 percent, financial services that are relatively sophisticated by regional standards (52nd), a considerable market size and fairly high levels of education enrolment. However, Colombia continues to suffer from weak institutions and considerable corruption. The country’s low-quality transport infrastructure is largely the result of a complex topography. Moreover, despite the rapid economic growth from high oil revenues in recent years, the need to diversify its economy will require improving the quality of the educational system (86th), which does not yet respond to the productive needs of an increasingly sophisticated business environment, and its innovation capacity, which is pulled down by low private R&D investment and the poor quality of scientific research institutions.