Connectivity for Development: The Mesoamerican Experience

Organised by Inter-American Development Bank

Official Side Event


23 May


12:45 to 14:15


Hall 4, Level +1

The geographic position and the interoceanic regional infrastructure of Mesoamerican countries are relevant to the regional and global trade outlook. At a national level, improving transportation connectivity and logistics performance has been recognized as a means towards better competitiveness and economic development, therefore, the region has made great efforts to increase the coverage, quality and connectivity of its transportation infrastructure through the implementation of programs and policies in transport and freight logistic sector in the last decades, that have had important effects in the productive integration of cities and communities and in the intraregional and global trade of the countries. Despite the progress made in infrastructure and software investments, significant areas in Mesoamerica continue relatively isolated from key economic centers and logistics corridors, hence a high potential for a greater integration remains unexploited in the region. 

This session will discuss how better transport connectivity can help integrate countries in the Mesoamerican region (at the local, national and global level) and its contribution to achieve economic, social, and environmental development goals. The event will showcase the evolution of Mesoamerica regional integration in terms of physical infrastructure and institutional development. The important lessons that Mesoamerica’s region have accumulated linked to the evolution of transport connectivity, in which infrastructure (hard), regulations (soft), trade facilitation, sustainability and urban connectivity has been addressed; represents a source of knowledge and a field of analysis for stakeholders in order to continue promoting actions that targets the challenges identified for the region. The panel will discuss relevant issues that developing countries typically face, analyzing the complexities and underlying aspects related to the role of technology, infrastructure financing, and institutions, to achieve development goals. 



  • Ofelia Betancor, Associate Professor, University of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain
  • Jocelyn Aguilar, Executive Coordinator, The Mesoamerican Project, San Salvador, El Salvador
  • Marelia Martinez, Consultant in freight logistics and trade facilitation, Paris, France
  • José Barbero, Consultant in logistics chains for Latin America and the Caribbean, Buenos Aires, Argentina


  • Agustina Calatayud, Senior Specialist – Transport Sector, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington D.C., Unites States


Links to relevant website(s) for further information: www.iadb.org

Contact Person: Raul Rodriguez-Molina, Infrastructure Integration Specialist, IADB, raulr@iadb.org