A whole new web of infrastructure
Latin America never lacked natural resources, but they have not always been easily accessible. This is now about to change. Numerous projects are crisscrossing this exiting continent linking the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, linking the metropoles of Buenos Aires and São Paulo, linking the interior to the coasts.
Roads, railroads and waterways are opening new and cost efficient access to the vast hinterlands. This has enabled Brazil to explore its savannas and become the world’s second largest exporter of soybeans. But equally important, it has enabled Bolivia to develop and claim the position as the world’s sixth largest exporter of soybeans.
Boosting intraregional trade
Latin America’s trade routes historically went from the coastal cities to Europe and USA. With the changes in flow of traffic, the interior will be transformed rapidly. Landlocked countries like Paraguay and Bolivia will prosper tremendously on these changes. And with the new highway project from Buenos Aires to São Paulo, sleepy Montevideo might wake up.
Integrated energy grid
Latin America is holding huge resources of renewable energy, and a project financed by the Inter-American Development Bank is about to complete an integration of the energy grid. When this happened in Europe, it became an engine for growth and development. This will enable even the more remote Central American countries to reap benefits and be part of the growth in the region.
Copyright 2009, Anders Haug Thomassen, Gjøvik, Norway
Further reading: Greater America, New York University Press