The Role of Development Banks in Catalyzing the Infrastructure of South America in the 21st Century

Bogota, Colombia. Photo by Alejandro Alfaro M via Unsplash.

While Asia continues to grow, South America remains stagnant. There are multiple reasons for this, but one major obstacle is the lack of investment in infrastructure. Development bank support for infrastructure investments in South America could unlock unlimited growth and development opportunities for the region, the benefits of which would far exceed the initial costs.

If the benefits are so great, why isn’t the region making the necessary investments in infrastructure? 

In May 2023, a workshop co-hosted by the Boston University Global Development Policy Center, the Pardee Center for the Study of the Long-Range Future (Pardee Center) at Boston University and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) in Cali, Colombia sought to explore ways to promote a more active role for development banks in the expansion of infrastructure in South American countries.

A new report summarizes key themes from the discussion, including exploring the issues South American countries have faced in obtaining long-term financing for infrastructure projects that promote sustainable economic growth as well as identifying potential solutions through the role played by development banks in the region. 

Following the deliberations, the workshop participants put forward several policy recommendations including optimizing the structure and management of projects, linking public and private sectors by creating new financing channels, investing in regional cooperation, and fairly distributing risks and benefits.

Read the Report Lea el informe