EFEPunta Cana, Dominican Republic

Chile, Colombia and Peru lead the index of capacity to carry out sustainable public-private partnerships in Latin America, according to the latest Infrascopio index.

"The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have a strong performance in the area of regulations, and PPPs are almost universally accepted as a tool for contracting, generalized adoption of national infrastructure plans and improvements in sustainability indicators," according to a report released on Thursday at an Americas PPP Forum in the Dominican Republic.

The 2019 index, commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank, placed Chile, Colombia and Peru, which top the list after Jamaica and Guatemala.

Next are El Salvador, Brazil, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Honduras.

The report, , developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit every two years, is based on five categories: regulation, institutions, maturity, investment climate and financing, highlighted regional "advances" in the last decade.

Although regulation is the area where the highest scores were recorded, financing is the one with the lowest, which "shows that institutions to finance infrastructure are incipient in Latin America and the Caribbean."

The report also found that "transparency and accountability during the life cycle of PPPs are essential to ensure that they are well managed and to document successes in order to generate public support for future initiatives."

Ancor Suárez, IDB specialist in PPPs, said that "to achieve the greatest social gains derived from PPPs in the region, and in order to provide more and better quality services to the inhabitants of Latin America and the Caribbean. the Caribbean, it is essential to know the conditions in which these can be implemented."

The region invests around 3.5 percent of its GDP, figures from the multilateral bank estimate that to reach the appropriate level of development should invest between five and six percent, which is a gap equivalent to $1.5 billion over the next few years.

Given the huge volume of financing required, there is not "sufficient" regional funds, so international investors have to be resorted to, and APPS are instruments that can yield beneficial results for both parties, said the official.

The PPP Americas Forum, which finished on Thursday, brought together more than 500 representatives from the public sector and private investors in the region.