next week Dalip SinghDeputy Adviser for International Economic Affairs at United States of America, will be responsible for a Diplomatic trip between Colombia, Ecuador and Panama. I will meet, according to progress Introduction to the press with the Colombian President Evan Duque, with the Ecuadorean Guillermo Laso And with the Panamanian Minister of Public Works Rafael Sabong.
However, the significance of Singh’s journey lies not in the characters he will meet, but in the motives: knowing the infrastructure needs of these countries, given their inclusion in the Rebuilding a better world, the communication plan developed by the Joe Biden administration in response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
From the US initiative, presented at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, we know the general principles (contributing to infrastructure development through “sustainable” projects from environmental, financial and judgment), geopolitical goals (to contain Beijing’s international expansion) and more (private sector involvement). But we have not yet seen the concrete implementation of these intentions.
We don’t even know what Singh’s delegation will talk about with the governments of Colombia, Ecuador and Panama. According to unidentified sources, it was reported BloombergThe Biden administration first wants to gather ideas from local institutions, then select some projects early next year.
Latin America needs infrastructure
White House identifies infrastructure needs in Developing countries At $40 trillion between now and 2035. For American Development BankLatin America “lacks” $150 billion in infrastructure investments annually, needed to asphalt roads, modernize power grids, and install water purification plants, for example. It is the region with the lowest infrastructure spending relative to GDP in the world, after sub-Saharan Africa.
With these weak links, only economic growth can suffer. Suffice it to say – like a fileeconomic – It takes twenty-two days to transport a shipment of sugar from Jujuy to Buenos Aires, Argentina (about 1,675 kilometres) by rail – the same time it would if shipped by ship to Hamburg, Germany. To get from Bogota, the capital of Colombia, to the city of Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast (about 930 kilometers), goods need two days.
To discourage investment is the instability of the regional political and regulatory context, but also corruption – In both the private and public sectors: just think of the massive Odebrecht scandal It has the effect of crippling the economy and competitiveness.
China in Latin America
The Belt and Road Initiative has provided trade links, access to raw materials and geopolitical levers to Beijing, including Latin America. Since 2018, China is The first commercial partner in the region (Except for Mexico: otherwise the picture is changing), bypassing the United States, it has invested in a whole series of projects on highways, railroads, ports, and power plants.
“Building a better world” could represent, for Washington, an opportunity to increase its role in Latin America – and above all – to make the countries of the region feel the tangible benefits of this presence.
The United States can also reap benefits. For example in relation to the supply of minerals necessary for energy transmission such as lithium and the copper. Or to deploy its own tech companies: In fact, Google will create a long submarine cable connecting the United States, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, improving Internet connectivity between the two parts of the continent and favoring access to its digital services.
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