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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Copenhagen Consensus Latin America: Infrastructure

Assessment Paper

By Julio A. Gonzalez, José Luis Guasch, and Tomas Serebrisky

The working paper used by the Expert Panel is available for download here, the finalized paper has been published in the Latin American Development Priorities: Cost and Benefits book by Cambridge University Press. 

Short Summary

Access to basic infrastructure services – roads, electricity, water, sanitation - still remains as a key challenge in the fight against poverty in Latin America and in the elusive search for sustainable growth. These services provide not only direct and fundamental benefits but also have important indirect effects on the living conditions of the population and are key ingredients for productive development and to enhance competitiveness.

This solution paper focuses on the main determinants of logistics costs and, whenever possible, provides evidence on the effects of these determinants on competitiveness and growth of Latin American economies. In preparation of the Consulta de San José 2007, this paper provides recommendations/solutions that encompass a series of policies to reduce the prevalent high logistics costs in Latin America. The recommendations rely on the available applied economic analysis on logistics and trade facilitation (areas where very scarce studies can be found). All the recommendations were elaborated having as a main premise the feasibility of implementation; that is, all of them can be realistically implemented.