Reshoring, nearshoring and developing countries: Readiness and implications for Latin America

Carlo Pietrobelli & Cecilia Seri


This paper discusses the concepts of reshoring and nearshoring that are gaining increasing popularity. We contribute to the literature in three main ways. First, building on previous theories we define a theoretical framework and consider how recent developments – COVID-19 and Industry 4.0 technologies – may impact on these patterns. Secondly, we process some preliminary evidence to test whether Latin American and Caribbean economies are indeed participating in this reshoring trend. Thirdly, we propose a measure of “Reshoring Readiness”, to assess whether Latin American countries appear to be ready to host relocations and benefit from them. Overall, we find limited evidence of nearshoring to the region so far, except for Mexico, and we highlight strengths and weaknesses of the region for attracting and benefitting from future relocations.

Keywords: Global Value Chains, Latin America, Reshoring, Nearshoring, Industry 4.0, FDI

JEL Classification: F21, F23, L24

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