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Optimized foreign debt structure exempted Latin America from world financial turbulence
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An optimized foreign debt structure has effectively exempted Latin America from the worldwide financial turbulence triggered by the US subprime credit crisis, according to Sonsoles Castillos, an economist with Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) bank.

Less foreign debt and an optimized foreign debt structure have relieved Latin American countries' dependence on the external financial system, local media quoted the BBVA economist as saying Wednesday.

The optimized structure is displayed by a longer debt-term and a lower proportion of foreign currencies in the total debt, she said.

She also listed other financial factors that have contributed to the exemption, such as improved financial and fiscal policies and the fine-tuned domestic capital market.

On macro-economics, she said Latin America's exports have been increasingly diverse in terms of product types and export destinations, which consequently has made the region's foreign trade less dependent on the US market.

Increases in domestic demand and investment have played a mounting role in boosting Latin America's economic growth, also contributing to the exemption, she said, adding that higher prices of raw materials have also put the region in a more advantageous position in the world's foreign trade system.

(Xinhua News Agency March 6, 2008)

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