Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The South American nation will be investing in urban roads, education, telecommunications, water resources and more.

A nation’s infrastructure is one benchmark to measure its progress, since quality infrastructure and facilities create greater accessibility and a better quality of life—and by this benchmark, Chile is one of the best-performing countries in Latin America. The Chilean Chamber of Construction is aiming to move even higher in this ranking, and has named infrastructure as a priority area for development.

According to a report released by the chamber in June, Chile needs to invest $175 billion in infrastructure by 2027 to eliminate the infrastructure deficit that currently exists—$23 million higher than was stated in the last report in 2016.

The three principal sectors highlighted by the report as the most in need of investment are:

  • Fundamental infrastructure, such as telecommunications, energy and water resources
  • Logistical support infrastructure, such as highways, airports, ports and trains
  • Public use infrastructure, such as public spaces, hospitals, prisons and education

Of these, the sector that requires the largest investment is fundamental infrastructure.

The areas that require additional investment are:

  • Urban roads: $67 billion needs to be invested to increase the quantity and efficiency of highways in Santiago, as the number of vehicles on these roads is projected to double by 2025.
  • Education: $15 billion for education infrastructure such as schools, libraries and gyms
  • Telecommunications: $25 billion
  • Water resources: $18 billion
  • Social infrastructure: $10.5 billion in hospital infrastructure
  • Prisons: $1 billion in prison infrastructure, as the current average occupancy in prisons is 106.6 percent of capacity
  • Disaster relief: $950 million for disaster prevention and mitigation