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Bridging infrastructural gaps in Central America: prospects and potential for maritime transport

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Bridging infrastructural gaps in Central America: prospects and potential for maritime transport

Autor institucional: NU. CEPAL. División de Recursos Naturales e Infraestructura Descripción física: 53 páginas. Editorial: ECLAC Fecha: septiembre 2005 Signatura: LC/L.2386-P ISBN: 9211215609


Abstract Central America needs a regular, flexible, safe and affordable infrastructure and transport services in order to prevail over the existing bottlenecks and constrained intra-regional trade patterns. This need is widely recognized to achieve a sustained economic development, both national and regionally. Today, Central American countries face the following problems in their transport systems: lack of sufficient transport infrastructure and high transport costs. These problems have led to a decline in the competitiveness of the regional economies and sluggish economic growth rates. Additionally, it is a highly vulnerable region due to geological, geomorphologic and climatic regional conditions. This paper argues that short sea shipping (SSS) can play an important role in creating the pathway towards a more nvironmentally friendly, financially rational and sustainable transport system, and it is eminentlysuitable as a solution to bridge the Central America (CA) infrastructural gaps. Nevertheless, strong political support for inter-regional cooperation and the set-up of public-private partnerships have to be launched in order to unlock the development potential of transport by water. A combination of measures by all stakeholders is the way forward for more sustainability. The focus to develop these potentials includes the integration of maritime links and inland hinterland links with ports and their logistic centres and terminals as operating intermodal nodes. In this paper, authors bring high importance to a strategic association between SSS and truck and rail transportation modes, considering an intermodal transportation system that takes advantages of each one.