August 28, 2013 13:37 ET

Signs of Optimism for Latin America: 70% of Executives Surveyed Believe Business Will Grow Strongly in Latin America in the Next Year

Sixth Edition of the UPS Business Monitor Latin America Study Monitors Sentiment on Growth, Investment and Challenges

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwired - Aug 28, 2013) -  According to the sixth edition of the UPS Business Monitor Latin America (BMLA), 70% of small and medium-sized businesses believe businesses in Latin America will grow strongly in the next 12 months, up from 62% in 2011. The BMLA provides an outlook on the current opinions, attitudes and trends among the business leaders of the small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in the Region.

The study, commissioned by UPS and conducted by TNS Gallup between April and May 2013, surveyed more than 800 top-level SME executives in seven Latin America and the Caribbean countries. The results revealed that almost half of the respondents believe their business is better today than one year ago, especially in Chile (64%), Mexico (63%) and Colombia (51%).

"The results from the latest BMLA study demonstrate an increase in Latin American SMEs that foresee growth in their businesses over the next 12 months compared to 2011," said Romaine Seguin, president of UPS Americas Region. "We are seeing businesses betting on their own countries and region through their investments. Nearly half of Latin American executives surveyed do not feel that the economic and financial context of developed countries will affect their businesses showing real confidence."

Though the positive outlook for business growth increased from past years, SME executives continue to face some of the same issues they had expressed in previous installments of the study. For example, Brazilian SMEs remain concerned about finding and retaining qualified personnel, while Argentinean executives continue to mention an increase in labor costs as their top worry. This year, Colombians showed that market slowdown is their main concern.

"Latin America has come a long way over the last few years; they have a new sense of self, both politically and economically, and you can see this in the optimism revealed by SMEs across the region," said Eduardo Gamarra, professor of Latin American and Caribbean politics at Florida International University. Gamarra serves as a key expert for the BMLA study and provides additional insight in a video that can be viewed at

Areas of investment

Although adoption of information technology was identified by 84% of the executives as a very important driver for competitiveness, only 14% considered it an investment priority for their business over the next 12 months. However, investment in marketing and sales is a top priority at a regional level.

Technology and construction continue to be identified as the industries with the greatest growth opportunity according to the surveyed executives in Latin America. Nonetheless, when compared to the results from the 2011 BMLA study, business services fell to fifth place and was replaced this year by leisure and tourism as a sector with more growth opportunity. 

Barriers and Challenges

With regard to what the countries identify as barriers preventing the expansion of their business, SMEs see the search for suppliers and customs duties as the two most significant challenges. Executives considered fiscal constraints (46%) as their main challenge followed by the economy and inflation (41%).

For more information and materials on the BMLA, please visit:

For brief videos on the announcement please visit the UPS YouTube links:
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About UPS

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the Web at and its corporate blog can be found at To get UPS news direct, visit

About the UPS Business Monitor Latin America

The UPS Business Monitor Latin America (BMLA), now in its sixth edition, provides an outlook of the current opinions, attitudes and trends among the business leaders of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in the Region. The results of this study are based on the solid experience of the interviewees in the world of industry and trade.
Notes to editors:

  • The Business Monitor Latin America (BMLA) is a barometer of opinions, attitudes and practices of Latin America's Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) decision-makers conducted between April and May 2013.
  • The BMLA is a study commissioned by UPS (NYSE: UPS) and was conducted by the leading market research group TNS Gallup in the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Mexico.
  • For its sixth edition, the BMLA interviewed 800 top-level SME executives with decision-making power across various industries.
  • For this survey, an SME is defined as a company with 250 employees or less, while the executives interviewed were those responsible for strategic decisions that have a direct impact on the future course of the company.
  • Figures may total less than 100% where only partial data are used or more than 100% where more than one response was allowed.
  • The results of the BMLA survey provide UPS, its customers, and others information on emerging issues and trends predicted to influence businesses in the region as they operate in the global marketplace.

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