Groundbreaking study reveals Latin America’s image trends upward
Negative perceptions of personal safety in Latin America are widespread, but they are often based on outdated or incomplete information. Executives investigating outsourcing locations typically evaluate destinations on metrics such as costs and incentives. When they do consider geopolitical and personal risks, they frequently rely on inaccurate or incomplete data—or media-generated generalizations.
A new study – authored exclusively by Nearshore Americas and available for free download in our Premium Reports section – reveals a number of surprising shifts around views on personal safety. The report investigates the attitudes members of the sourcing community have toward Latin America, and measure the extent personal safety concerns affect buyers’ decisions to invest in countries in the region. The report is intended to serve as a tool for buy-side clients, analysts, and promotion agencies, and strives to delivery objective input into this highly complex issue.
Our analysis of the data yielded several important discoveries about safety perceptions of Latin America:
Safety attitudes are a critical factor in site selection: Personal safety concerns in a Latin American or Caribbean country definitely impact buyers’ decisions to invest and develop partnerships in that country. Our results suggest that safety is still not as important as other factors like cost or labor pool talent, however due to political events even in the last month, geopolitical risk is now at the forefront of any site selection decision.
The recent drug violence in Mexico has had an impact: In fact, it’s a much greater impact than many believe. Of the outsourcing buyers we surveyed, a majority responded negatively to questions about personal safety in Mexico. While in actual fact the violence is restricted only to certain areas of the country, it seems that overall perceptions of risk in Mexico have increased significantly on the buy-side. Whether that translates into a drop in foreign investment remains to be seen.
Chile is perceived to be the safest LatAm country: Buyers, analysts and even service providers across the board rated the Southern Cone country as the most risk-free Nearshore destination. Runners-up were Argentina, Costa Rica and Uruguay.
Sourcing buyers perceive Latin America to be more dangerous than India: While the Nearshore ranked around the middle of the spectrum in terms of perceived geopolitical risk, US buyers still thought it was more dangerous than rival geographies India and China. Eastern Europe was considered the safest location, while North Africa was ranked ‘Most Dangerous’.
Intellectual property rights violations are a serious concern: Both the pool of US buyers and the pool of analysts and consultants agreed that data security and lax IP enforcement were high on the list of worries for Latin America. Those concerns were echoed only in some cases by our pool of country promotion agencies, showing a key disconnect in recognizing these issues, which could be part of the problem.