Several Caribbean Island and Latin American nations’ economies are closely intertwined. Countries in the Caribbean have established agreements to facilitate regional trade and cooperation.The most notable organization in the Caribbean is the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which has 15 member states and aims to establish free trade between them. Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)is another regional organization in the Caribbean, with 25 member countries with the aim of facilitating trade intra-trade. Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA) is a regional trading block aiming to promote free trade among members in Latin America. The Caribbean and Latin American countries have been economically integrated by the regional organization, which has facilitated trade between member countries. The economies most dependent upon exports to the Caribbean and Latin America are discussed below.
55.5% of exports from St. Lucia are destined for other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. St Lucia is a member of the Caribbean regional trading bloc and enjoys friendly ties with its neighbors. St. Lucia has attempted to overcome its structural limitations such as a small geographical area, small population, and weak economic performance by deepening economic ties with its neighbors. Trinidad and Tobago are at the forefront of this regional trade with St. Lucia followed by Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Cuba is also emerging as a destination for St. Lucia’s exports. Exports from the country are comprised of bananas, coconut oil, fruits, vegetables, beer, and clothing.
45.5% of exports from El Salvador are destined for other Caribbean and Latin America countries. El Salvador’s neighbors by sea and land include Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras. The strategic location of these countries, facilitate trade relations with El Salvador. The country has established free trade agreements with countries such as Panama, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile. Exports from El Salvador are large, textiles, coffee, electrical capacitors, gold, chemicals and shrimp.
Antigua & Barbuda
42.0% of exports from Antigua and Barbuda have market destinations elsewhere in fellow Latin American and Caribbean nations. Main exports from Antigua and Barbuda are predominately electronic components and handicrafts. Other exports are cargo vessels, bedding material, petroleum products, agricultural produce and live animals. Antigua & Barbuda is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and has trade ties with Caribbean nations such as St. Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago and other countries in the regional CARICOM. Free trade agreements exist between Antigua & Barbuda and Colombia and Venezuela.
40.9% of exports from Bolivia are destined for other Caribbean and Latin American countries. Bolivia neighbors Brazil, Argentina, and Peru and this facilitates exportation and friendly trade relations with the countries. Bolivia’s trade with its Latin Counterparts has been cemented by its membership to several regional blocs. Bolivia participates in the Andean Community with countries such as Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. Bolivia has also entered into agreements with Argentina and Brazil in a measure to increase its natural gas exports to these countries. Exports from Bolivia include petroleum gas, zinc ore, crude petroleum, soybeans, and gold.
Integrated Regional Economies
Other countries that export heavily into the Caribbean and Latin American world, and the percentage of their export volumes going there, include Guatemala at 39.9%, followed by Aruba (37.4%), Paraguay (36.2%), Barbados (35.6%), Honduras (32.1%), and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (31.2%). Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have embarked on regional trade agreements to stimulate their individual economies. This local trade has boosted their export capacities such that the nations are expanding to foreign markets in other emerging and developed countries as well.