Traditionally, South America Business has been based on the export of relatively low-value primary products and semi-processed materials and the import of higher-value manufactured goods. In recent years, however, great efforts have been made across the continent to expand the manufacturing sectors and to reduce dependency on imports.
Since the 1990’s, South America has experienced great economic development, with many of the nations growing their economies by over 8% per annum. The largest individual economies in South America are those of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Chile.
The Union of South American Nations (UNASUL), as part of a continuing process of South American integration, will create a single market with the absence of tariffs. Fully integrated by 2019, the intergovernmental union (modeled after the European Union), will comprise of close to 400 million people, or roughly 6% of the world’s population.