latinometrics OP t1_je48vh7 wrote

From our newsletter:

You might notice something when looking at the above chart. Many of the countries that top 2% of GDP in spending on research and development (R&D) – whether it be France and Germany or Japan and the United States – are among the world’s largest and most industrialized economies. Even China, which is one development category below, spends a notably high amount of its massive economy on R&D.

No doubt, to be a major player in the world today you have to be at the forefront of emerging technologies and innovation — and dedicated public funding is a big part of that.

Enter: Brazil.

South America’s giant is leading its neighbors in terms of R&D expenditure and it’s not even close. Brazil spends the equivalent of roughly 1.2% of its economy—which doesn’t seem like much, until you realize that Brazil’s economy is worth over $1.6T, making its investment come out to nearly $20B each year. That’s roughly the size of Haiti’s entire GDP or close to McDonald’s total annual revenue! As the largest public spender in the region by far, Brazil’s closest peers by this metric are developed European countries rather than its own neighbors.

Brazil’s R&D expenditure takes the form of research done in world-renowned public universities such as the University of São Paulo or the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. It can also be seen in the consistent modernization of Brazil’s armed forces and the scientific and medical breakthroughs propelled by government-funded private companies. From AI and vaccine development to sustainable agriculture and renewable energy research, Brazilians are at the forefront of regional innovation.

Public R&D has been tied to greater growth and productivity for countries and their private sectors, so Brazilian policymakers have got the right idea. Now comes the tough part: making sure that the public funding goes towards sectors that maximize growth and minimize inequities. After all, scientific breakthroughs and technological advances are not just cool—they can eradicate diseases and improve the lives of everyday citizens. For proof, just ask the thousands of families impacted by the 2016 revelation by Brazilian medical researchers that the Zika virus could lead to brain damage for infants.

While there remains work to be done if Brazil wants to match its peers in London or Tokyo, it’s worth recalling that every country currently investing more in R&D is also quite richer. Brazil may have a long way to go in making sure the benefits of development and public expenditure are spread equally—but more than any other Latin American country, it’s well on its way.

Source: UNDP, World Bank
Tools: Rawgraphs, Affinity Designer


latinometrics OP t1_jdhic1y wrote

From our newsletter:

It may seem unbelievable, but Mexico's leading trading partner is not the US per se, but Texas. In fact, in 2022, Mexico traded more with Texas ($286B) than it did with all of Asia ($262B) and six times as much as it did with all of Latin America ($48B).

It's no longer news to most that nearshoring has taken Mexico by storm following COVID-19. International consumer goods companies and vehicle manufacturers are moving production to the country's northern states. Big news came from the state of Nuevo Leon as Tesla announced a new Gigafactory in its capital city of Monterrey. However, most may not know that even Chinese companies are now choosing to manufacture in Mexico instead of China!

As of 2021, China's GDP per capita was 25% larger than Mexico's ($12.5K vs. $10K). China's official minimum wage ($377/Month) is now larger than Mexico's ($234/Month). The assumption that Chinese labor is cheap by definition has changed in recent years. Also, the disruptions to the global supply chain from the pandemic and the Suez Canal blockage have raised concerns about the risks associated with manufacturing predominantly in Asia to provide for a US consumer market. In addition, the imposition of tariffs on about 66% ($300B) of Chinese goods imported to the US that the Trump administration set are still in effect. Meanwhile, the USMCA trade agreement guarantees little to no tariffs between Mexican and US entities.

The nearshoring craze in Mexico seems to be here to stay. So long as the US remains a large consumer market, the world will adapt to sell to it. Meanwhile, the decay in international relations and the fear of further supply chain complications have turned the dial back to when trading overseas was risky and unattractive.

The "Made in China" days may be behind us, and, as Nuevo Leon's governor, Samuel Garcia, recently stated regarding the new line of Tesla vehicles built in his state, these will hit the market branded as "Made in Nuevo Leon."

Tools: Rawgraphs, Affinity Designer, Sheets


latinometrics OP t1_jaszza7 wrote

from our newsletter:

Of all places, Venezuela has been on a cheese revolution since the beginning of this century, producing in 2020 3x the amount it did in 2000. We were thrilled to see that the country with usually the most troubling news in the region is actually LatAm's 2nd largest cheese producer and surpassed Switzerland (the cheese homeland) in production for the first time in 2009.

Source: OWID

Tools: Affinity Designer, Rawgraphs


latinometrics OP t1_ja9xw4d wrote

From our newsletter 🗞️:

This year, there are 54 Hispanic representatives between the House and Senate, almost three times the amount back in 2001, with Hispanics now accounting for 11% of all members of Congress.

As Pew Research pointed out, the percentage is still lower than the population of Hispanics in the country — 19%. But make no mistake; there's been extraordinary progress in this demographic's representation.

In 2001, the US's share of Hispanics or Latinos was 12.5%, while their representation in Congress was a meager 3.5%. And Black members in Congress prove that reaching full representation is possible; their 13% share is roughly equal to the US's Black population share.

Source: Pew

Tools: Rawgraphs, Affinity designer


latinometrics OP t1_j9uao1o wrote

LatAm (+ some Caribbean) is home to:

  • 3 “full democracies”
  • 9 “flawed democracies”
  • 8 “hybrid regimes”
  • 4 “authoritarian regimes.”

Essentially, a 50/50 split across the report's best two and worst two categories.

How long can the LatAm cling to its status as the world's most democratic emerging region?

Latin America's score has declined for 7 consecutive years, showing the biggest slip among all regions since 2008.

So, what's driving this decline? Lately, it's been three countries. Haiti, El Salvador, and Mexico showed the most significant score declines in the region in 2022.

*Read more on our newsletter. *

Source: EIU

Tools: Affinity designer, Rawgraphs


latinometrics OP t1_j8ev7go wrote

From our newsletter:

Oil production growth since 2000:

• 🇲🇽 Mexico: -47%

• 🇻🇪 Venezuela: -77%

• NEW MEXICO: +812%

With a tiny fraction of the population of Venezuela and Mexico, the US state of New Mexico has experienced a boom in its oil & gas sector in recent years, surpassing the LatAm oil giants' production.

According to a Financial Times story by Myles McCormick, the boom accelerated after Russia invaded Ukraine, which drove Russia out of the list of US suppliers, and demand for domestic oil to record levels.

Aside from the obvious economic perks this brings to the state and the US, New Mexico's workforce is thriving. There's been a great decline in unemployment and a great increase in wages.

People working in the industry can earn over $27/hour, forcing companies in other sectors to compete. According to McCormick, Burger King is now offering $28/hour in NM, compared to $19/hour in New York City (so 47% higher than one of the most expensive cities to live in).

McCormick's analysis also points out that the increased production has taken the state's budget from $6B four years ago to around $9.5B this year, leading to increased spending in education, housing, healthcare, and infrastructure.


latinometrics OP t1_j80q9tw wrote

From our newsletter:

Sugarcane was first introduced to Brazil in 1532. Nearly 500 years later, the country exports over 700M tonnes yearly—roughly the same amount as the continent of Asia, and 7x the amount exported by Africa.

This is a staggering number, not least because Brazil’s population of 216M is far below both continents’ total populations and land area. The country is the world’s largest exporter of sugarcane, producing 40% of the global total in 2020, which contributed $8.95B to its economy.

Cana de açúcar, as it’s locally called, is not native to Brazil and was instead brought to the country by Portuguese settlers. The commodity has a number of distinct uses. It can be drank raw or turned into a special juice, caldo de cana, which is quite popular across the country.

Source: FAO

Tools: Excel, Affinity Designer, Rawgraphs