Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Latin America Infrastructure: A Market to Reckon With

These are the most exciting times for infrastructure in Latin America, the region has finally reached political stability and it has navigated the financial crisis and subsequent economic recession well and they are immersed in ambitious development programmes which require substantial investment capital.

This may sound already familiar, it is true that Latin America has been a promising market for most of the 20th century and then failed to deliver when politics got in the way. This time things are different, though.

The region has attracted a great deal of attention in the media, and all for good reasons. There are specialist in financial information providers who have valued Latin America as the region to invest in Infrastructure as one of the sectors to mobilise more investment and political risk. And here is why.

To begin with, there is an incipient middle class that craves stability and prosperity. The governments are now seriously committed to tackle the poverty and social inequalities which have dragged down their domestic economies and left them too exposed to foreign economic fluctuations.

The fall of the URSS and the end of the Cold War have changed the USA's foreign policy towards the region, the new rule of no direct intervention has allowed each country to find the solutions to their own problems and this has made each country stronger and more self-confident.

Power is no longer defined by the size of a country's arsenal, but by its economic might. USA now faces stiff competition as the world's first economy. The EU, even amid its worst economic crisis, is an important economic force which has invested in Latin America and has signed bilateral economic agreements to facilitate trade relations. China has finally broken its economic isolation to become one of the world's leading investors and trades. Not surprisingly he is looking at Latin America for business opportunities. Canada has the resources and expertise to exploit the regions mineral resources and it is one of the most active investors in Latin America.

The eyes of the world are in Latin America: Brazil will be organizing the Soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. The Pacific Alliance aims to revitalise the regional trading purpose lost by Mercosur, which has become more a forum for political squabbles. Brazil, Peru and Chile are set to become the driving motors of the economic power of Latin America and to achieve this they require to develop their transport and energy sectors. The social inequalities and the development of a strong domestic economy can only be fostered by investing in education, housing, and health building schools, hospitals and better sanitary conditions.

Infrastructure is a most important sector albeit a very expensive one. Institutional Investors, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Funds of Funds, Pension Funds and private investors will do well to look at Latin America as a market with great potential as well as safe.

Constructors, developers, and project managers should also look at Latin America for new business ventures. There are projects in the pipeline to suit every company's capabilities, large and small.

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