The continent of South America has abundant reserves
of various minerals. Iron deposits in Brazil and
Venezuela represent 1/8 of world production. Chile
and Peru extract about 1/4 of the world's copper
production, while tin is found in greater quantities
in Bolivia and in the western basin of the Brazilian
Amazon. Across the continent, significant deposits
of niobium, molybdenum, bauxite, lead and zinc can
be found. The most important oil and natural gas
reserves are located in Venezuela.
7% of the soil is arable. In the Bolivian and
Peruvian Andes and in some areas of Ecuador and
Colombia, agriculture is subsistence and includes
the cultivation of beans, corn and potatoes. In the
tropical lowlands of Brazil, Paraguay, Peru,
Colombia and Venezuela, there is commercial
production of bananas, citrus fruits, vegetables,
manioc, beans, rice, sugar, cocoa and coffee. Due to
poor land use, most countries are deficient in terms
Brazil economically leads South America, followed
by Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia and
Chile. Industrialization is well developed in
Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, which produce iron,
steel, refined oil and automobiles. Most South
American countries have a free market, although an
extremely high poverty rate and a very small number
of prosperous families continue to exist.
In 1948, the Organization of American States (OAS)
was created and, in 1960, the Montevideo Treaty
established the Latin American Free Trade
Association (LAFTA), in which Argentina, Brazil,
Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay were
signatories. In 1982, this entity gave way to the
Latin American Integration Association.
Andean Executive Placement Center
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