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The regions highest ranked gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 was Brazil (9th globally) with a GDP of $1.8 trillion. Ranked upon Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), Brazil (7th) also led the region with a PPP of $3.1 trillion. Brazil, a member of the BRIC nations, is expected to become one of the world's dominant suppliers of raw materials by 2050.
In 2016, a number of South American economies faced recession pressures as a result of weaker external demand, further declines in commodity prices, volatile financing conditions and key domestic imbalances.
Political and economic challenges in Argentina and Venezuela continue to be monitored globally to determine how it is impacting other parts of the region but even with their challenges, Argentina has an increased focus on industrialization, digital connectivity and investment in human capital, all of which are highly positive.
South America is particularly vulnerable to any economic slowdown in China, which is the destination of 15-25% of the exports from a number of countries in the region.
Sectors such as agribusiness, a leading industry in the region, are beginning to incorporate more data integration for operating and business model improvements into their workflows.
The oldest active exchange in South America may be the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange (BCBA) or Bolsa de Comercio de Buenos Aires, which was founded in 1854.
Other older exchanges include the Lima Stock Exchange or Bolsa de Valores de Lima (1860), Montevideo Stock Exchange or Bolsa de Valores de Montevideo (1867) and the BM&F Bovespa (1890), all of which were established in the 19th century.
The largest exchange in South America is the BM&F BOVESPA, which finished 2016 with a market capitalization of $759 billion.