UN: LatAm needs to invest US$320bn a year in infrastructure

Monday, October 13, 2014

Latin America and the Caribbean need to invest US$320bn a year until 2020 to satisfy the region's infrastructure needs, a UN agency reported.

The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac) said the region has to increase infrastructure investments to 6.2% of GDP in 2012-20 from 2.7% in the previous decade.

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The agency said most infrastructure investments have been in the transport sector, followed by energy, telecommunications and water and sanitation.

Costa Rica led infrastructure investments as a percentage of GDP in 2012 at 5.47%, followed by Uruguay (5.08%), Nicaragua (4.93%), Bolivia (4.47%), Peru (4.46%) and Brazil (4.10%).

"The region is not investing enough," Eclac said in a statement.

Latin America accounts for at least 20% of the global infrastructure deficit, which is estimated at up to US$1.5tn, according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

A lack of planning, slow approvals, low productivity and financial strains make it harder to develop infrastructure projects in Latin America, in any sector.

According to Washington-based CG/LA, Latin America – alongside Africa – spends less on infrastructure than any region in the world.