The COSIPLAN Project Portfolio is a set of strategic infrastructure works to promote regional connectivity in the transportation, energy, and communications sectors. By focusing on the geographic territory in question, COSIPLAN aims to increase the competitiveness and complementarity of the region’s economy, contribute to reducing regional disparities and social inequality, and improve the quality of South Americans’ lives. INTAL functions as COSIPLAN’s technical secretariat.
The Structure Planning with a Regional Perspective
The creation of the COSIPLAN Project Portfolio was made possible by the development and application of the Indicative Territorial Planning Methodology. The starting point for this methodology was identifying the Integration and Development Hubs, which are used to subdivide South America into different geographic areas and to organize the portfolio.
The COSIPLAN Project Portfolio is continually being updated. The Executive Technical Groups for each hub meet regularly to improve the quality of the information available on each project and to adjust its components by including new projects and excluding those that are no longer priorities. The COSIPLAN Project Information System (SIP) is essential to carrying out this task.
In 2001, COSIPLAN created the Integration Priority Project Agenda (API), which is made up of a subset of projects from the Project Portfolio that will have a significant impact on the region’s physical integration and socio-economic development.
Joint Planning Is a Work in Progress
In 2016, online meetings were held for each Integration and Development Hub so as to thoroughly monitor and update the information available on the projects that form part of the COSIPLAN Project Portfolio and the API. Government officials and experts from the government agencies involved in each country’s projects took part.
During these meetings, the representatives from the different countries discussed the progress that had been made, exchanged information on binational projects, and planned new forms of connectivity based on the region’s needs.
With the support of the COSIPLAN technical secretariat, the following areas have been worked on continually over the last few years:
- Design and adjustment of assessment methodology (Integration and Development Hub, project groups, anchor projects, phase system, etc.)
- Design, improvement, and interaction with the technological tools that store the information for all projects: the Project Information System (SIP), the Geographic Information System (GIS), and the Hub Information System
- Diagnostics on the quality of information
- Inclusion of new information fields in the SIP
One outcome of this work has been the publication of two documents: the “2016 COSIPLAN Project Portfolio” and the “2016 Integration Priority Project Agenda (API).”
Implementing Projects That Will Integrate South Americans
This year, the COSIPLAN secretariat invited countries to nominate projects on which particular progress had been made and which would make a significant contribution to South American integration, so as to include them in the report. Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay all responded to this initiative.
Many of these connectivity projects are the results of binational and multinational commitment at the highest level, which is supported by technical work carried out by the countries in the region through COSIPLAN. Some projects have been completed, others are being implemented, and others are in the process of being put out to tender.
The following sections group these noteworthy projects by type and mentioned some of the benefits that these forms of connectivity can bring.
- Four freight transportation rail projects that help balance out the use of different forms of transportation, improve the competitiveness of the region’s products by lowering transportation costs, reduce greenhouse gases, and improve road safety. Belgrano Freight Railway in Argentina; Piedra Sola–Salto Grande and Piedra Sola–Fray Bentos sections of the Montevideo–Rivera Railway in Uruguay.
- A river port that functions as a multimodal hub for four countries, helps remote towns form part of today’s economic and trade system, and facilitates trade between neighboring countries. New Yurimaguas Port Terminal in Peru.
- A nuclear energy project that will increase the potential for trade among the countries in the region and help diversify the energy mix using renewable sources. Repowering of Embalse Nuclear Power Plant in Argentina.
- Three road-based projects, two of which are binational while one is multinational. The work that the countries involved are carrying out as part of these projects takes the economic and social development of the regions they affect into account. They include initiatives such as trade facilitation, productive integration, and tourism promotion, which complement the implementation of the infrastructure project in question. Tacna–La Paz road integration between Bolivia and Peru; road integration corridor between Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, and Chile; and the Agua Negra Binational Tunnel between Argentina and Chile.
Future issues of INTAL Connection will look at these projects in more detail—their location, features, state of progress, and potential contribution to regional integration.