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MEXICO CITY-Two firms have recently released data that show Latin American markets as well-positioned for growth in the next decade–as long as the region can slide through the global economic downturn. The markets in countries such as Mexico and Brazil have a definite need for new residential, retail, office and industrial construction, in terms of billions of dollars of new development, according to CB Richard Ellis and Jones Lang LaSalle.

The JLL data has to do with transparency, and which countries south of the US are operating with openness and accessibility. The company’s 2008 Latin American Transparency Index showed that most of the countries, with the exception of Venezuela, are becoming more open with real estate dealings and general economic fundamentals, such as the protection of property rights and less-burdensome regulations. Only Argentina and Venezuela showed a move toward more nationalistic ownership of business. For example, the country recently took over the third largest bank there, Banco de Venezuela, and has set laws designed to thwart transparency.

Brazil and Mexico, the two largest markets by exports and development, are benefiting from economic stability, according to the JLL study. “The key drivers in Latin America is that the young population will continue to grow until 2015,” says Pedro Azcue, CEO of JLL, Latin America. “This will drive consumer goods and real estate, and as a trend, the population is getting wealthier. Mexico alone needs about 20 million new homes in the next 20 years.”

Office in Mexico City is also doing well, as smaller users are converting industrial sites in the Polanco district, according to CBRE officials in a recent statement. Larger tenants, the company said, are trending toward building towers such as the new HSBC headquarters building and the new BBVA Bancomer headquarters.

The other markets are also doing well in Latin America, according to CB Richard Ellis officials. In a recent statement, the company said there are considerable opportunities in the Mexico industrial and logistics market, as high oil prices and long delivery schedules are driving manufacturing back from China into the Mexican side of the border. A new $6-billion sea port in Northern Baja California, Mexico will also provide another major distribution route through North America. “With $75 billion in Central Bank reserves, Mexico is in a better position than it was in 1994 to confront the current global financial crisis.”

However, Azcue says he thinks the Latin America markets will see a short slowdown. “Everything was going very smooth, we had a lot of investor interest up until three-to-four weeks ago, when the Dow Jones started collapsing,” he tells GlobeSt.com. ” A lot of investors are taking a step back here and trying to figure out what’s going to happen. I think there may be a bit of a problem in 2008 and into 2009, but then I think we’ll go back to long-term trends.”

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