The steady erosion of infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has reduced significantly the region's chances of competing in global markets. Poor infrastructure management and inefficient delivery of services have become a major constraint on export growth. With 73% of its population living in cities and towns, LAC is the most urbanized region in the developing world, and the urban environment is experiencing commensurate pressure. The crisis in the delivery of public services is in many ways a crisis of government itself, since the public sector has until recently been the main provider of infrastructure services. The World Bank's "World Development Report 1994: Investing in Infrastructure" analyzed alternatives for improving infrastructure on the basis of lessons learned worldwide. The infrastructure report described in this book applies these findings to the LAC region. The transport sector comprises a wide range of subsectors, including airports, maritime ports, urban rail systems, interurban railways, pipelines, and roads, including bridges and tunnels. Efforts are being made to provide low-cost transport options that are both environmentally sound and within the reach of low-income populations. The road subsector, including bridges and tunnels, is capital-intensive in relation to the potential revenue. However, private sector participation can often be successfully introduced through private concessions to operate ports, railways, and road segments constructed and financed by the public sector. The World Bank aims at expanding its financing of road maintenance to support private sector contracting. Legislation should be modified to encourage competition among different transport modes and between private and public operators. Most countries in the region need both to invest in transport infrastructure and to reform their administrative, customs, and information systems in order to become credible suppliers in the global market.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This report was prepared by the World Bank's staff and is published as part of the "Directions in Development" series.
  • Corporate Authors:

    World Bank

    1818 H Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20433
  • Publication Date: 1995


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 63 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00727254
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0821330284
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 10 1996 12:00AM