As a result of public spending cuts affecting infrastructure development, most countries in Latin America - including Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile - have introduced institutional reforms to boost private sector participation in local projects.

Although overall investment has risen in recent years, none of the region's major economies invested more than 3% of GDP in infrastructure last year, far from the 5% recommended by multilateral agencies to combat the infrastructure deficit.

In 2017, many local, regional and global companies are poised to take advantage of the attractive infrastructure investment programs being put in place, especially in the area of transport, through public-private partnerships (PPPs). The number and type of projects in the region are vast and present ample opportunities, as this report highlights.

The five countries mentioned above, those traditionally open to receiving private investment in infrastructure, are now joined by Argentina, who under President Mauricio Macri has launched an ambitious infrastructure plan, with a heavy focus on passenger and freight rail projects. This is part of a larger regional trend. While project portfolios in recent years in Latin America have focused on roads, in the immediate future the larger initiatives will be railroads, including a private sector role in metro systems, which traditionally have been developed and financed by local governments.

At the same time, PPPs are also beginning to make their presence felt in social infrastructure such as hospitals and schools.

Regional leaders meet their Asian counterparts in an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Lima, Peru in November. As some Western democracies like the US turn against globalization, many nations in Latin America now actively seek international participation in developing local economies and their large infrastructure needs.


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