How to Build Up a Region: Development Banks and Multilateral Financing

Introduction Although many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are currently experiencing a period of economic slowdown that is expected to continue in the near future, there is a consensus by policy-makers that significantly improving the region’s infrastructure must remain a priority. Statistics demonstrate that infrastructure is at the core of economic development by increasing productivity, facilitating transportation, fostering mobility and generally enabling competitiveness. Moreover, infrastructure investment can also play an important role in countercyclical fiscal policy. Standard and Poor’s has estimated that an increase in infrastructure spending equivalent to 1 per cent of GDP in the region would generate 900,000 jobs in Brazil over a three-year period and increase its economy by 2.5 per cent.[1] In Mexico, this scenario would result in the gain of 250,000 jobs and GDP expansion of 1.3 per cent.[2] The quantity and quality of infrastructure in Latin America has vast room for improvement, with a yearly investment gap estimated to be between US$120 and US$150 billion a year.[3]



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