San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Survey: Country Second ‘Most Globalized’ in Region

Costa Rica jumped up a spot to become the second “most globalized” country in Latin America this year, second only to Panama, according to a recent magazine ranking.

According to Latin Business Chronicle’s “Latin American Globalization Index,” the region’s largest economy, Brazil, also became the “least globalized” economy in the region.

The index of 19 countries looks at six factors that measure a country’s links with the outside world: exports of goods and services as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), as well as imports of goods and services, foreign direct investment, tourism receipts and remittances as percentages of GDP, and Internet penetration.

Costa Rica ranked second in the categories of exports, tourism receipts and Internet penetration, third in imports and fifth in foreign direct investment. Nicaragua ranked second in imports and foreign direct investment, third in remittances and fifth in tourism. Those scores helped offset its low Internet penetration, the lowest in Latin America in 2005 (excluding Cuba), the magazine reported.

While Costa Rica is the most globalized economy of any signatory to the Central American Free-Trade Agreement (CAFTA); the least globalized economy in the trade pact is Guatemala, according to the index.

The CAFTA countries had an average score of 11.05, which was higher than the Andean Community of Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador (8.17) and Mercosur countries Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina and Paraguay (7.12). Panama maintained its spot as the most globalized country, while Brazil replaced Argentina as the least globalized country in Latin America.

Panama and the CAFTA countries are also expected to become more globalized as they reach a free-trade agreement with the European Union, possibly as soon as 2008. That would make it the only region in Latin America outside of Mexico with free-trade agreements with both the United States and



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