SANTIAGO -(Dow Jones)- Chile has surpassed Brazil as Latin America’s leading direct foreign investment recipient so far this year, according to a report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, or UNCTAD.
In the first quarter of 2010, Chile received over $5.7 billion in foreign investments, a nearly 50% increase on the same period last year. In addition, Chile also leads the region in terms of its own foreign investments.
“It’s clear that for the size of its economy, Chile is the country that sends the most investments in relation to its gross domestic product,” Wilson Peres, an official on the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, told Dow Jones.
Brazil had been the leading recipient of foreign investments in the region since 2007.
Last year, Brazil led the region, receiving a stream of $25.9 billion in direct foreign investments, followed by Chile, with $12.7 billion, and then Mexico, with $12.5 billion.
In 2009, Chile’s foreign investments were equivalent to 5% of its GDP.
Direct foreign investments in the entire region of Latin America and the Caribbean will likely grow between 40% and 50% in 2010, surpassing $100 billion, the report said.
Worldwide, foreign investment is expected to grow 8%, to over $1.2 billion in 2010, and up to $1.5 billion in 2011.