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Aruba, May 21, 2013 - As global Foreign Direct Investment saw a decrease in 2012, Latin America hit a record number. The region received $173.361 billion, its highest ever -– an increase of 6.7 percent from the previous year, as opposed to the general shrink by 14 percent in worldwide FDI flows.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean revealed the numbers in its annual report presentation last week in Santiago, Chile. Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena said that these figures attest the current good performance of Latin American economy.

However, the report points out that FDI is mostly focused on the exploitation of natural resources, particularly mining, which attracted 51 percent of investments. Manufacturing and services accounted for 12 and 37 percent, respectively. These percentages show that FDI is not contributing to a significant change in the economic structures of the region, which Bárcena pointed was one of its main challenges.

The one exception to this general figures is Brazil, where services obtained a 38 percent of the investment last year, whereas natural resources were a 13 percent. Brazil also remains the main recipient of FDI, despite being one of the few countries that saw a slight decrease (2 percent) –- the next Olympic host received 41 percent of the regional inflows, $65.2 billion.

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