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

Introduction After a period of economic slowdown throughout the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, 2017 has seen the beginning of a much-awaited economic recovery in the region, with the first fiscal quarter showing a 0.8 per cent GDP growth and 1.1 per cent in the second quarter.[2] However, there is a consensus by policymakers 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.[3] In Mexico, this scenario would result in the gain of 250,000 jobs and GDP expansion of 1.3 per cent.[4] 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 billion and US$150 billion a year.[5]



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