The economy of the South American continent represents the economy of the 12 nations and 3 territories of the continent housing a total population of about 410 million. Initially, after attaining independence, most South American nations used the Import Substitution economic policy. The policy was implemented from the 1930s to the 1980s. It was implemented with the objective of growing domestic businesses which were at that time not competitive and at par with international industries. However, the policy led to a debt crisis in the continent and the countries fell farther behind the Western countries in economic development.
The real growth of the South American economies began in the 1990s when the countries adopted the Free-Market economy system which helped the countries overcome the debt crisis. At present, agriculture, mining, and forestry are the major South American industries.
Here are the list of the 10 richest countries in South America.