The Confederate States of Latin America is an emerging economy. It is a dynamic market economy, characterised by a high level of foreign trade and investment.
The ECAL combines a large, highly educated labour force; good agrucultural land; large amounts of natural resources; a sound currency; small non-interventionist government; and a free market. As a result, Latin America has been able to achieve great wealth. Growth rates have exceeded 6% per year since 1991.
Latin America's currency is called the Peso.
The ECAL has almost complete free trade, with no import or export tariffs, and no quotas. Restrictions exist on the following:
- Foreign flora (excepting food imported as such)
- Foreign fauna
- Proscribed weapons
- Proscribed weapons (see Justice and Law in the ECAL)
- Nuclear materials
- Nuclear technology
Restricted items require a license from the Ministry of Transport.
The result of these policies has been an exceptionally high volume of trade. Latin America's trading problems generally rise from protections imposed by foreign governments, such as the Confederate States of America which restricts the entry of Latin American agricultural products. Low volumes of trade with such countries as the Soviet Union, and Venezuela stem from their own socialistic policies (the result of which is that they have little that Latin Americans want to buy, and no money with which to buy Latin American goods and services). Latin America's major trading partners are diverse, and include Italy, Japan, Germany, the USA, Britain, and China.
Latin America's main financial centres are Santiago and Buenos Aires. Montevideo is also a financial centre. Mining is vital to the Latin American economy, Chile being the world's most important copper producer. Colombia has the largest coal reserves in Latin America. Other energy exports include oil, natural gas, and hydroelectricity. Uruguay is Latin America's main producer of software. Agriculture is of massive importance in Latin America. Panama and Uruguay are centres of trade in the Americas, with Canal related business of great importance in Panama. Tourism is a prominent sector of the Latin American economy. The ECAL has a long and interesting history (going back far before European colonisation), and many beautiful sites.
The economies of each state are highly varied, Argentina for instance has large manufacturing industries and agricultural exports, while Chile is highly developed in service industries. Ecuador economy is focused on primary exports of minerals, petroleum, and agruciltural products.
Latin America has good transport infrastructure, which tends to be better in the South and Panama than elsewhere. The most prominent piece of national transport infrastructure is the National Railroad of the Americas (Ferrocarril Nacional de las Americas). The FNA starts in Panama City, and connects all capital cities to each other, ending in Buenos Aires. It is one of the few railways to cross the Andes. Latin America has several private airlines and one publically owned airline (LADE, Lineas Aereas Del Estado). Latin American airlines serve all continents.
Labour relations are generally good, with a rising real standard of living, and rising real wages. A lack of government restrictions on payrolls means low unemployment, and only 1.3% of the work force in unionised. That 1.3% resides almost entirely in the public sector.
Taxation is on a low, flat rate of 15% on personal income, corporate income, and capital gains, and inheritance is untaxed. The latter has resulted in great growth in the aged care industry, older people from all over Europe and the Americas frequently bring all of their assets to Latin America to avoid tax.
Latin America's tax policies have led to international criticism. Foreign governments have asserted that the whole country is basically an enourmous tax haven. The refusal to tax US citizens working in Latin America has drawn particular criticism. President Bachelet has responded to such criticism by saying "the fact that other countries fleece their citizens does not mean we should do the same. On the contrary, it is good reason to leave them alone. We invite to Latin America all people who believe their present taxes are too high. Our taxes are the lowest in the world."
|General: Confederate States of Latin America, Economy of the ECAL, Justice and Law in the ECAL, President Michelle Bachelet, Presidency|
|Political: Partido Republicano Constitucional, Partido Laborista Socialista, Partido de la Democracia Cristiana|
|Military: Fuerzas Armadas, Armada, Ejercito, Fuerza Aerea, Infanteria de Marina, Guardia Nacional|
|Military Aircraft: FMA SAIAL 90, A-4AL Fightinghawk|
|Armoured Vehicles: TLAM Medium Tank, TLAP Main Battle Tank|
|Warships: Ship Profiles, Ardiente and Valeroso class destoyers|