• Another promising trend: Latin American entrepreneurs are embracing the digital revolution and starting technology ventures. While some countries are trying to develop their own “Silicon Valleys,” startups in Latin America are working directly with U.S. innovation centers – which can develop and grow even more interconnected business markets.
• Finally, trade is the lifeblood of commerce. Trade growth between the U.S. and Latin America has outpaced that between the U.S. and both Asia and Europe. Latin American countries have made progress in trade liberalization, reducing tariffs significantly and entering into their own regional agreements.
Of course, Latin America must address challenges to sustaining growth, including strengthening the rule of law and improving transparency and accountability. But the region’s progress from its “Lost Decade” in the 1990s to today is one that U.S. companies should help sustain and benefit from.
This can begin, in particular, with developing a more robust commercial agenda with Mexico — the largest and most important U.S. trade and investment partner in Latin America. While drugs and immigration have taken center stage in our bilateral relationship, the next U.S. administration and Mexico’s incoming president, Enrique Peña Nieto, should commit themselves to exploring ways to expand and enhance an already successful commercial relationship.
Latin America and the United States can be unstoppable together. Let’s use this opportune moment to focus greater attention and resolve toward our common future.
Ricardo Salinas is the owner of Mexico’s largest electronics retailer, Grupo Elektra, as well as Banco Azteca and TV Azteca, among other ventures.