The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is the largest source for development financing for LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) countries. Founded in 1959 and based in Washington DC, IDB produces regular reports on trade, economic integration, poverty and social inequalities reduction, environmental sustainability and other issues.
We recently started collaborating with IDB with some data graphics on trade integration. The LAC countries have extensive trade gaps and missing links (countries or areas without preferential trade agreements). The chart above highlights bilateral trade links between countries missing the advantage of preferential trade agreements. It’s a redesign of the graphic below, an “spaghetti map” which we found hard to follow. We used a more rational geometric design (the real geography doesn’t help here), and different weights/colors depending on the amount of trade to establish hierarchy and visual clarity.
There are multiple, small size trade agreements in the area but the goal is a region-wide Free Trade Agreement (LAC-FTA) that is able to compete in the global scene. The graphic below shows the size of the proposed agreement compared to other large trade agreements in the world, and to the economies or other countries and the world as a whole.
And the graphic below also refers to the lacks of agreements between different regions and countries in the area, this time as a grid. The empty spaces are the focus of interest here.
To know more about the issue, you can download the recent IDB publication here in English, Spanish or Portuguese (this version doesn’t include our graphics):
Connecting the Dots: A Road Map for a Better Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (© 2018 Inter-American Development Bank, Integration and Trade Sector)