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Argentine capital Buenos Aires ranks among the best cities in Latin America in quality of life and now has also become less expensive, according to two new rankings. (Photo: City of Buenos Aires Government)
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Trade Talk

LatAm Cost, Quality: Best & Worst

Best and worst for mining investments in Latin America.


Two recent rankings show the cost of living and quality of life in Latin American cities.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), three Latin American cities – Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo -- were among the ten that saw the biggest decreases.

Buenos Aires dropped 48 spots to 125th place, Rio dropped 26 spots to 108th place and Sao Paulo dropped 30 spots to 107th place.

“The impact of currency devaluation was … felt in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, which has joined the bottom ten in joint 125th place,” EIU says. “The city also fell by 48 places in the ranking following a crisis of confidence in Argentina, resulting in the peso weakening sharply against the US dollar in August.

Venezuelan capital Caracas ranks as the cheapest in Latin America and the world, according to the survey.

“Unsurprisingly, it is Caracas in Venezuela which claims the title of the least expensive city in the world,” EIU says. “Following inflation nearing 1,000,000% last year and the Venezuelan government launching a new currency, the situation continues to change almost daily. The new currency value has varied so much since its creation and the economy was demonetized compelling people to use commodities and exchange services and personal items like clothing, auto parts and jewelry to purchase basic goods such as groceries.”

Caracas is cheaper than cities like Bangalore, while Buenos Aires is now less expensive than cities like New Delhi.

Meanwhile, Uruguayan capital Montevideo has the best quality of life in Latin America, according to a new survey from Mercer. Buenos Aires, Santiago, Panama City and Brasilia also ranked among the best cities in quality of life. "Ongoing cartel-related violence and high crime rates meant that ...Monterrey (113) and Mexico City (129) ...remained low... whilst continued instability saw Caracas (202) fall another nine places this year for quality of living and 48 places for safety to 222nd place, making it the least safe city in the Americas," Mercer said.


Panama – where First Quantum recently started its mine – and the Dominican Republic are among the worst countries in the world in terms of investment attractiveness for mining companies, according to the latest annual survey from the Fraser Institute.

The survey is an attempt to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulatory uncertainty affect exploration investment.

An overall Investment Attractiveness Index is constructed by combining the Best Practices Mineral Potential index, which rates regions based on their geologic attractiveness, and the Policy Perception Index, a composite index that measures the effects of government policy on attitudes toward exploration investment.

While Chile ranks among the top ten in the world on the Investment Attractiveness Index, Venezuela ranks as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world for investment. This year, Venezuela replaced the Guatemala as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world.

Apart from Venezuela, Panama and the Dominican Republic, other bottom ten countries and areas are Nicaragua, Guatemala and Bolivia and the Argentine provinces of Neuquen and La Rioja.

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