After rounds of virtual meetings between different multi-sector government teams from UNASUR member countries, the infra project portfolio of South America's Infrastructure and Planning Council Cosiplan has been updated.
While the number of projects in Cosiplan's portfolio has shrunk to 581 from 593 in 2015, the estimated investment for the projects increased 3.2% to US$188mn in 2016 in the same period. 85% of projects in Cosiplan's active project portfolio were reviewed and consequently updated.
Cosiplan's infra projects are categorized into nine Integration and Development Axis, territorial zones with particular environmental and population characteristics. The virtual meetings between government officials that took place during May and June of this year were organized based on these axes. The meetings were coordinated by INTAL, the IADB's Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Most of the projects that were removed from the portfolio belonged to Argentina and Brazil, two countries that, as INTAL notes, recently modified their investment priorities after changes in government administrations.
The reviewing process helped increase the number of finished projects 10% to 127 this year from 115 projects in 2015.
The current Integration Priority Projects Portfolio (API) includes 31 structured projects as well as 103 individual projects, amounting to an estimated investment of US$21.7mn.
The creation of Cosiplan was the result of an integration project for South America that started in the late 2000s and became stronger after the founding of UNASUR. The integration of regional infrastructure is one of the pillars for the promotion of South American unity, as UNASUR's constitutive treaty points out.
The projects included in the portfolio were selected by UNASUR member countries and the portfolio is being permanently updated through annual meetings and negotiations based on the countries' sector policies and strategies, bi-national agreements as well as investment priorities.