Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas
A Bullish Case

Susan Segal: Democracy Is Reason for Optimism on Latin America

Many countries are emerging stronger from tests to democratic institutions, writes AS/COA’s CEO.
Susan Segal meets with Chilean President Gabriel Boric in September.Roey Yohai Photography
Reading Time: 2 minutes

This article is adapted from AQ’s special report on A (Relatively) Bullish Case for Latin America

For the last 40 years I have been an eternal optimist on Latin America. Even in some of the most difficult moments, I have always seen the positive side of almost every country and have believed that every challenge represents an opportunity.

Today there are many reasons to be bullish, but if I had to pick just one, I would say: democracy. This may sound surprising, given all that we hear today about institutions being under pressure throughout the Western world. But as I look around the region, I see many countries where democracies have withstood the tests of recent years and emerged stronger.

Indeed, as we have seen time and again, when governments do not meet expectations, they are replaced in free and fair elections. I certainly remember an era in the early 1980s when that was not the case, and it is not something we should take for granted. Democracy over time is the backbone for strengthening institutions and predictability, critical for confidence and investment.

There are other reasons to be optimistic today. Latin America has what the world needs. It is abundant in energy: traditional oil and gas but also alternative clean energy as well as strategic minerals which are needed globally. The continent could also feed the world. And as I have mentioned before, it has some of the best and most innovative entrepreneurs.

Finally, we speak about “friendshoring” or “nearshoring.” The opportunity to move supply chains or create new supply chains in our hemisphere is enormous. I don’t believe we have even begun to imagine or measure the dimension.

So as we look over the next 40 years, I am very optimistic that Latin America will leverage its many resources to bring renewed growth, prosperity and opportunity to its citizens.


Reading Time: 2 minutesSegal is President and CEO of Americas Society and Council of the Americas.

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Tags: A (Relatively) Bullish Case for Latin America, nearshoring
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Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.
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