BY JOSEPH A. MANN, JR
As Latin America braces to deal with global uncertainties linked to the European banking crises, major weaknesses in the quality of infrastructure continue to plague most of the region, including its largest economies, according to figures from Latin Business Chronicle’s 2011 Latin Infrastructure Index.
Some progress has been made this year as Brazil, working to meet infrastructure demands of the 2014 World Cup, has begun granting concessions to private investors in an effort to renovate and operate its notoriously deficient airports before millions of soccer fans need to be moved between 12 Brazilian cities for the multiple matches. The country also plans to spend more than $41 billion over the next five years on telecommunications, according to Brazil’s Minister of Communications. But these and other gains will not be reflected in the infrastructure index until coming years.
According to a report released by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), ports in South America will reach their capacity by 2020 if they don’t invest in infrastructure. Meanwhile, the total infrastructure gap in Latin America – the difference between existing and needed investments – is a whopping $170 billion per year to 2020, ECLAC estimates.
Panama, Chile and Uruguay lead the 2011 Infrastructure Index in ...