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Declining and volatile investments place Latin American infrastructure under stress

Bnamericas Published: Friday, October 04, 2013
Declining and volatile investments have placed undue stress on Latin American infrastructure over the past decades, according to analysis by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ( Eclac). "The reduction in investment has caused a growing lag in the provision of infrastructure and, with the exception of telecommunications, the provision of services is below that observed in other emerging economies," according to the report. Eclac's analysis forms part of the report "Signs of Competition in the Americas", presented at an annual meeting of the Inter-American Competition Network held in Panama. Total infrastructure investment in the region has fallen from an average 3.5% of GDP in the 80s to an average 2.2% of GDP in the years since 2000. Key deficits are reported across all infrastructure sectors, but particularly in transport. Eclac estimates that Latin America requires an average annual infrastructure spend of 6.2% of GDP in order to meet the demands of companies and consumers between now and 2020. Key obstacles to improved infrastructure development include a lack of institutional capacity, varying visions as to infrastructure policy, disregard for sustainability issues in transport infrastructure policy, access to finance, the quality of public-private-partnerships and regulation, concludes Eclac. The full report is available in Spanish here.

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