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South American Economy

Most of South America historically has had a colonial economy, exporting cash crops from plantations and being exploited for its mineral wealth, especially the Spanish demands for gold and silver. Agriculture still plays a vital role, mainly exporting fruits and cattle from the temperate South America. This largely continued up to the twentieth century, when the demand for rubber, largely grown in South America added additional income. Slash and burn farming is still a problem.

Mining is also a major industry, with large stores of petroleum and other mineral wealth being produced for export. Venezuela is highly dependent on the oil industry, making up for half the total export of the country. Manufacturing was largely spurred by government involvement since the 1930s, though still lags due to lack of technology, trade routes and size of national markets.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "South America".