August 26, 2020

Nicaragua’s quality of infrastructure services has increased a 43 percent between 2008 and 2018 according to the Inter-American Development Bank’s 2020 Development in the Americas Report: “From Structures to Services”, launched this July. The country’s quality indicator went from 2.45 in 2008, to 3.51 in 2018, which accounted for the third greatest improvement in Latin America and the Caribbean and positioned it as the ninth highest quality infrastructure services in the entire region.

The report provides an in-depth diagnostic of access, quality, and affordability of infrastructure services in the region and states that while Chile remains the best performer, most countries in  Latin America and the Caribbean improved and some did so remarkably, like Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Paraguay. 

Furthermore, the report presents the percentage of firms in Latin America and the Caribbean that identify the supply of electricity, water, and transport services as a major constraint on their productive activities. Nicaragua’s percentage of firms identifying transportation as a major constraint is the second lowest in the region, at only 10.5 percent it is even in the range of Europe’s and Asia’s average. 

Likewise, Nicaragua’s percentage of firms experiencing electrical outages and firms identifying electricity as a major constraint is below Latin America’s average, with 49.9 and 25.1 percent respectively. In terms of the percentage of firms experiencing water insufficiencies, Nicaragua registers a 26.3 percent, which is slightly higher than Latin America’s average. 

Additionally, the report adds that investment in infrastructure between 2008 and 2017 varies widely across countries. While some countries invest significant amounts, like Belize, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Peru, the largest economies—Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico—invest far less as a percentage of GDP. Nicaragua occupies the second place behind Bolivia in terms of highest average investment in infrastructure as a percentage of GDP, with a total of nearly 5 percent, of which almost 4 percent is public and around 1 percent is private.

Nicaragua also stands out among the best in terms of paved primary road network, evolution of national electricity access between 2000 and 2018, and share of population living in water stressed basins.