Private-Sector Participation in
Everett J. Santos
For most of this century, growth in the developing world has been hamstrung by restrictions on the development, financing, and operation of its infrastructure by the state. Within the last decade, a new paradigm has been adopted by more and more of the developing world: the privatization of infrastructure. The impact on development, economic growth, and the environment will be vast. To fully understand how the world will change as a consequence of this paradigm shift, it is necessary to grasp why the transition to private provisioning of infrastructure has become necessary and how it will be implemented.
Infrastructure is the substructure of development. It is the determining factor of a country's economic and social development. Similarly, it advances and prescribes a nation's industrial and commercial competitiveness. Access to electricity is necessary both for industries to compete and for communities to participate in the benefits of the modern world. Telecommunications has become the nerve network enabling efficiencies in production. The quality and expanse of a country's transportation will control its ability to participate in modern industrial competitive markets. The efficient movement of people and goods is fundamental to social and economic integration. A society's health is to a great extent determined by a community's access to clean water, waste disposal, and sewage facilities.