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World Geography

World Geography


The Economic Situation in Latin America

Latin America is comprised of multiple nations with diverse economic conditions. However, many shared economic activities exist, such as agriculture and production. Also, the region has extensive mineral deposits such as silver and gold. Colonialists, the Spanish, and the Portuguese influenced South America’s economy. Most nations in the region are mainly net exporters, sending their exports to Europe and North America. Based on the area’s significant economic activities, economic conditions specific to the region affect its overall financial performance.

A significant economic problem in Latin America is the overwhelming dependence on commodity exports. The reliance on commodity exports means that the countries in the region benefit from a commodity price boom. However, whenever there is a recession, the value of commodity exports relative to the GDP falls. Countries should manage their price indices during a crash to protect their external positions. Also, the dependence on exports has forced most Latin American countries to sign trade agreements with the rest of the world. Such contracts give these nations the platform to negotiate for preferential treatment globally.

Also, most Latin American nations are currently undergoing severe debt crises. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the worsening debt situation, although the problem existed before the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the 2008/2009 financial crisis exposed Latin American nations to unsustainable levels of foreign debt as most European and American banks flowed over to the region (Stott, 2020).

Another economic factor impacting the performance of Latin American nations is import substitution. The countries restrict importing certain products from foreign countries to promote local industries. Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina have mainly pursued aggressive import substitution since the 1930s. One of the policies pursued in these areas to support import substitution is the collaboration between the three main economic actors. These actors include the government (including state firms), domestic private companies, and transnational corporations. As a result, the government supports certain private companies to undertake their investments. Also, Latin multinational corporations operating in other parts of the world support the economy by providing technology solutions unavailable locally.

Free trade area agreements also impact the region’s economic performance. A good example is the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), which was in 1993. The agreement sought to eliminate trade restrictions between the US, Canada, and Mexico. However, implementing some of the contents in the deal has dragged on 15 years later. One of the aspects of NAFTA is Mexico’s protection of local content. As a result of the concession, massive industrial growth and related investment have taken place in Mexico. However, not much real economic growth comes from free trade agreements. One would expect Mexico to reap big from NAFTA, but the opposite is true since the US and Canada are the greatest beneficiaries. Given that Mexico is an emerging economy, one would expect it to attain the most significant economic growth, yet the US and Canada have outpaced their economic growth rate.


Impacts of Climate Change in China and Japan

All countries worldwide experience the adverse impacts of climate change, but China and Japan’s situation tends to be acute. China has experienced unchecked economic growth over the past 30 years, a factor that has significantly impacted climate change. One of the impacts of climate change is environmental heating. Over the past century, China has experienced an increase in heating levels, an average of 1.1 degrees Celsius (Sovacool, 2014). As a result of increasing heat levels, some regions in China have experienced Glacier lakes heating, leading to massive mudslides. Such mudslides cause property destruction and life losses. Some highways in the affected areas sometimes become impassable.

Climate change has also led to rising sea levels in some Coastal regions in China. Over the past 30 years, the sea level in some coastal areas is estimated to have increased by 90mm (Sovacool, 2014). China’s rapid urbanization has worsened the problem. Land continues to sink as high-rise buildings come up to accommodate the rising population. Also, increased underwater extraction has reduced land’s water-holding capacity, raising sea levels. Rising sea level threatens the safety of Coastal residents in regions like Tianjin and Shanghai.

Japan is also a victim of high heat levels. Like China, Japan has experienced a mean increase of 1.0 degrees Celsius in temperature over the past 30 years (Sovacool, 2014). That sometimes leads to a temperature of up to 35 degrees Celsius. Such a high temperature is harmful to vulnerable populations, especially older people, kids, and those with pre-existing medical issues. Also, high heat levels have put people at risk of infection by vector-borne diseases, whose causative viruses mostly thrive in high temperatures. Coastal erosion has also led to devastating tsunamis with huge life costs.


Multiculturalism and Indigenous Social Movements in New Zealand and Australia

The people in settler countries such as Australia and New Zealand experience significant cultural and ethnic diversity, contributing to substantial differences in multiculturalism and indigenous people movements. British settlers comprised most of New Zealand’s post-European settlement (Smits, 2019). However, the difference between British and non-British settlers continues to reduce over time, but they remain the majority.

Australia has historically had an immigration policy that discourages non-European settlers from going to the country. Known as the ‘White Australia,’ the policy sought to restrict Chinese and other non-white immigrants from entering the country. On the other hand, however, New Zealand never had a designated ‘White New Zealand’ policy to discriminate against non-whites. From this perspective, New Zealand had a non-discriminative multiculturalism policy.

As a result of the policy mentioned above, there is an unsurprisingly higher diversity in New Zealand than in Australia. Ethnic diversity is accompanied by other forms of diversity, such as religion. For instance, the 2013 census showed that about 55% of New Zealanders identified as Christians (Smits, 2019). However, the latest data shows that the figure has since dropped to 49% (Smits, 2019). An increase has followed the drop in the number of Christians in non-Christian communities such as Hindus and Muslims. Non-Christians are attributable to Asian immigrants who have migrated to the country due to favorable settlement policies.

However, unlike New Zealand, Australia has many active indigenous people movements. For instance, the Aboriginals and the Merlan people have previously used aggressive and democratic strategies to improve their positions (Parliament of Australia, 2019). The indigenous people movements have also engaged the international community’s help as they seek fair treatment.


Parliament of Australia. (2019). Indigenous Affairs in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States of America, Norway, and Sweden – Parliament of Australia.

Sovacool, B. K. (2014). Environmental Issues, Climate Changes, and Energy Security in Developing Asia. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Stott, M. (2020, July 21). Subscribe to read | Financial Times.

Smits, K. (2019). Multiculturalism, Biculturalism, and National Identity in Aotearoa/New             Zealand. Multiculturalism in the British Commonwealth: Comparative Perspectives on     Theory and Practice (Oakland, CA:          University of California Press, 2019), 109-14.


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Directions: Save an electronic copy of your answer before submitting it to Ashworth College for grading. Unless otherwise stated, answer in complete sentences and use correct English, spelling, and grammar. When called for, sources must be cited in APA format. You can refer to the “Format Requirementsʺ page for specific format requirements. Respond to the topics for this writing assignment using your own words and examples. Design your responses as if you are explaining facts, concepts, and ideas to someone unfamiliar with the subject matter. Be sure to include creative examples wherever they may be appropriate. Also, be sure to provide a title for each essay response. (4 pages total)

World Geography

World Geography

This assignment requires you to write essays in response to all of the following:

Part A  Concerning economic factors in Latin America, describe export dependence, import substitution, debt crises, and the impact of free trade agreements such as NAFTA.

Part B  Identify observed and potential impacts of climate change in China and Japan over the last 50 years.

Part C  Compare and contrast perspectives on multiculturalism and indigenous social movements in New Zealand and Australia.    pp. 451-452

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