In 2021 Latin America will have a tough balancing act to strike between the need for austerity and the persistent challenge of the social situation, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which has aggravated the region’s existing political instability and economic inequality.
The corruption crack-down in Latin America has been side-lined of late due to increasingly complex political scenarios and socio-economic issues, and that will continue in 2021 even as COVID-19 has increased corruption concerns.
For Latin America institutional limitations of weak governments that predated the COVID-19 crisis will be exacerbated by the continuing need to address the pandemic’s social and economic impacts. Any business reforms will be slow and small in 2021.
The Biden administration will realign the US with many of its trade partners and offer a more traditional government. But COVID-19 will still dominate business risks and polarisation caused by the disputed election will continue to hang over the political system.
North American regional relations are likely to improve in 2021. Some differences over trade, immigration, labour, and environmental issues will persist, but companies can broadly expect a more predictable and stable cross-border business environment shaped by the USMCA.