Economic infrastructure refers to all the permanent engineering structures, equipment and physical facilities that are the basis for providing energy, transport, telecommunications, water and sanitation services to productive sectors and households. The efficient and timely provision of this infrastructure has a positive effect on economic and social growth, and there are interesting relationships between investment in infrastructure and improvements in social equity. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has drawn the attention of regional authorities to the impact of insufficient infrastructure (in terms of quantity or quality) on the future development of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). This deficit, called the infrastructure gap, requires urgent measures to raise investment levels while strengthening and adapting the regulatory, organizational and institutional environment related to infrastructure services in order to favour inclusive, sustainable development.
Considering the importance of this issue for the region, this edition of the FAL Bulletin summarizes the main conclusions of a report soon to be published by the ECLAC Infrastructure Services Unit. Following an exhaustive review of the specialized literature, the report (based on estimated demand during 2006-2009) explains the investments needed to close the regional economic infrastructure gap and provides an initial cost estimate.
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