Category Archives: Infrastructure

What would it take to build Trump’s border fence?

Border fence 2Quartz -The land border between the US and Mexico is 1,933 miles in length, and Donald Trump would like to see all of it sealed off—as would nearly half of all Americans, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Erecting an end-to-end barrier would be a complicated and costly endeavor, though.

How an infrastructure plan could help build Mexico’s future

The development of infrastructure is a key element to increase the quality of life and, at the same time, an essential ingredient to achieve economic growth.
The development of infrastructure is a key element to increase quality of life and, at the same time, an essential ingredient to achieve growth.

Knowledge @ Wharton

Over the past decade, Mexico’s manufacturing output has steadily increased, especially in the automotive, auto parts and electronic sectors.

And yet Mexico currently ranks 64 of 148 countries in terms of infrastructure, according to the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum. Economists agree that Mexico’s prospects for becoming a truly industrial economy will remain limited unless the country accelerates its construction of the roads, railroads, ports, energy plants and other physical infrastructure essential in any modern industrial economy.

According to Barbara Kotschwar, research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington: “Now is the moment for Mexico to get serious about its infrastructure . Latin America is woefully underfunded in terms of its infrastructure, and studies cite its infrastructure weakness as a major reason for Latin American underdevelopment.”

With that goal in mind, the Mexican government last year published its National Infrastructure Program for 2014-2018, a comprehensive array of projects that would cost the public and private sectors a combined total of about $600 billion. Under the umbrella of the program, Mexico expects to upgrade not only its transportation sector, but also its communications networks, along with its energy sector — including power, oil and gas — water; health care; urban development and housing, and the infrastructure for tourism.

What are the prospects that implementation of the program might wind up falling short of its ambitious goals? Observers note that with oil prices continuing to weaken, Mexico’s public sector may not be able to adequately fund key elements of the program. Also, they question whether the country has the organizational capacity to pull off such an ambitious plan.

Analysts say Mexico border is not a dire issue

Border fence 2AP – In the weeks leading up to Thursday’s first debate of the U.S. 2016 presidential race, Republican candidates have sought to distinguish themselves from each other with ever-tougher positions on border security and illegal immigration, claiming current measures are failing.

And yet by many standards, the situation is not nearly as urgent as it was during last summer’s crisis and has improved steadily and markedly in some respects over the past decade or so — partly because of actions taken by the U.S. government, but also because of factors beyond Washington’s control.