Latin American governments should redefine their port policies to improve the integration of ports with the region's industrial and productive sectors, according to Ricardo Sanchez, head of the infrastructure services unit at the UN's Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac).
"Most Latin American countries are focusing on ports much less than they used to previously, when ports were seen as a key objective for economic policy," Sanchez told BNamericas.
"Some countries don't even have port policies and others are still gradually developing them," Sanchez added.
The expert highlighted Brazil as a good example of a country with a port sector that has taken on an important role in economic development.
Where the port sector in most countries are controlled by parts of ministries or other authorities with little decision-making power, Brazil's creation of the special ports department (SEP) in 2007 gave the sector more political and economic influence, according to Sanchez.
The full interview with Ricardo Sanchez will be published in this week's Infrastructure Perspectives, for subscribers only.