Brussels, 14 May 2008
EU-Latin America/Caribbean trade in facts
The EU is the second economic partner for Latin
America-Caribbean region. Bilateral trade amounts around €160billion
annually. In 2007 the EU represented around 14% of Latin American exports. For
the Caribbean the EU is even more important as an export destination with 19% of
products shipped to the EU. These numbers are constantly rising.
- Key EU export products are machinery, transport equipment and chemicals. The
EU imports mainly agricultural and energy products from Latin America.
- Although the Latin American-Caribbean region represents almost 10% of the
world's population, it only accounts for around 3% of the global GDP. All Latin
American and Caribbean countries benefit from preferential access schemes for
their exports to the EU market. The EU is also a large provider of development
assistance to the region.
- The EU is a huge investor in Latin America, which is relatively open to
foreign investment. The EU is the largest investor in many Latin American
countries. EU investment stocks in the region amount around €400bn, around
12% of total EU FDI. The EU also attracts FDI from Latin America, mainly from
Brazil, Chile and Venezuela.
- Although proximity makes the US a natural export market for the region, most
Latin American countries have sought to diversify their economies away from
dependence on the US market. This means seeking new markets in Europe and
strengthening trade among the countries of Latin America via regional
- Both Chile and Mexico have concluded Free Trade Agreements with the EU which
cover both trade and investment. Since these agreements are in place, bilateral
EU trade with Mexico and Chile grew by 70% and 250% respectively.
- The EU is also negotiating Free Trade Agreements with Central America (Costa
Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua) and the Andean
Community (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru),
- which are designed both to boost trade with the EU but also to create
regional markets among these countries. These negotiations were launched in 2007
and have made good progress.
- The EU is also negotiating an FTA with Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina,
Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela). These talks are closely tied to the result of the
Doha Round of WTO trade talks and have been temporarily suspended until greater
clarity on the likely outcome of those negotiations is possible.
- On December 17 2007 the European Commission initialled an Economic
Partnership Agreement with Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize,
Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia,
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Surinam,
and Trinidad and Tobago (the CARIFORUM countries). The EPA fully opens
the EU market to Caribbean exports and gradually opens the Caribbean market to
new trade from the EU.
- Trade in goods with the European Union is important for the 15 Caribbean ACP
countries (Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Commonwealth of
Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and
Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and
Tobago). Caribbean exports to the EU have increased by more than 40% between
2004 and 2006 to over €4 billion, mainly due to the increase in fuel
- EU imports from CARICOM have traditionally been dominated by oil, aluminium
oxide, rum, sugar, and bananas.
All figures: European