Rough waters ahead for Chile’s new government
Chile faces economic uncertainty as global trade alliances are thrown into disarray. The new government in Santiago, led by free-market conservative Sebastian Pinera, has a weak position in the legislature. On top of the daunting challenge of diversifying Chile’s copper-based economy, President Pinera must deal with social unrest at home. This situation calls for first-rate leadership that ventures beyond routine governance.
China’s profile is rising in Latin America
As China’s growing economy made it an increasingly important player in Latin America, Beijing kept a low profile. Now, it can no longer avoid the spotlight. In Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil and Cuba, its position as a customer, financier and investor is leading to some complicated challenges. The question now is how assertive it will become in imposing its will on these countries – and how they and the U.S. will react.
In Peru, the pace of progress slows
In Peru, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is wrangling with a fractious, majority-opposition congress. Having just narrowly escaped impeachment proceedings, he offered a presidential pardon to the controversial former President Alberto Fujimori. The move could gain him allies in the opposition’s ranks, but has alienated many of his supporters. However, with copper prices predicted to rise – and with them Peru’s economic growth – he may soon get a respite.
In Chile, stagnation and stasis despite shifting politics
The old party coalitions are breaking down in Chile, while new rules could shake up congressional representation. With the economy stuck in low gear, voters are frustrated. But despite all this, the country looks likely to elect a familiar face in November – former President Sebastian Pinera. If he wins, it will mark unprecedented stasis in Chilean politics since the end of the Pinochet dictatorship.
Chile’s election will hinge on economy
After months of sluggish growth and political stagnation, Chileans want a fresh face to lead them. But so far, only well-known establishment figures have thrown their hats in the ring for Chile’s presidential election this year. For now, conservative former President Sebastian Pinera is the current front-runner. However, if commodity prices rise and boost the economy, the left could maintain its grip on power.
Peru: PPK makes a strong start
Despite just barely eking out a victory in Peru’s June presidential elections, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has made a fast start, gaining special powers to fight crime and corruption. The opposition has a significant majority in Congress, but PPK, as the president is known, is still likely to implement much of his center-right platform.
Global trends: Latin America seeks growth as leaders straggle
Latin America has reached an inflection point. Recent developments suggest that parts of the region will make significant economic strides over the next few years. However, its two biggest economies – Brazil and Mexico – are stuck in the doldrums, and their politics may be in even worse shape. <i>This report is par...
Global trends: terror and transition in sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa is poised for another year of fast economic growth in 2016. But countries of the region must contend with falling commodity prices, an upsurge in terrorism and a widening gulf between aging leaders and newly assertive urban voters. <i>This report is part of GIS’s “Global Trends” series, which aims...
Bachelet contends with copper and conservatives to keep Chilean reforms on track
Michelle Bachelet is vowing not to give up on the social overhaul of Chile’s free-market model that won her a second term as the country’s president in 2013. Yet the collapse of global copper prices has largely deprived her of the money to pay for the reforms, while a financial scandal has cost her political clout. President Bachelet’s biggest challenge in 2016 wil...
Economics: Petroleum drives Ecuador’s growth
Ecuador's economy has prospered under President Rafael Correa but his 'Citizen's Revolution' has had mixed results so far. The president's growing control of the country and its judiciary poses political uncertainty which may not be good for foreign investors explains GIS guest author and Andes specialist, Dr Catherine Conaghan of Queen's University in Kingston, On...