(MENAFN) The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (ECLAC) said the average trade exchange in Latin America and the Caribbean will fall 20 percent in 2012 from 2011, reported Xinhua News.
The commission attributed the lower growth rates to global economic conditions, including the recession in the euro zone, slowing economic activity in the US and Japan and the modest growth of China and other emerging economies.
During the current year, the region's exports are expected to rise 4 percent, whereas imports are forecasted to go up by 3 percent.
Foreign trade value in Mexico and Central America will expand more than the regional average, with exports up 7.3 percent and imports 5 percent.
On the other hand, South America is forecasted to post lower rates, with 1.1 percent in exports and 3.2 percent in imports.
Furthermore, countries in the Caribbean are expected to report a decline in their trade exchange, with exports and imports down 0.7 percent and 2.1 percent respectively.
It is worth noting that the ECLAC report noted that the region must strengthen its trade ties with other developing areas, mainly the Asia-Pacific region.