xi jinping obor forum Mark Schiefelbein/Pool/Getty Images

Despoliticemos los proyectos de desarrollo

LONDRES – Dentro de unos días, el presidente chino Xi Jinping encabezará una reunión con muchos de los líderes de los 65 países que participan de la iniciativa “Cinturón y ruta de la seda” (OBOR, por la sigla en inglés), un revolucionario programa que canalizará inversiones por miles de millones de dólares a proyectos de infraestructura en Asia, África y Europa. El proyecto se apoya en sólidos argumentos económicos, pero ha generado reacciones ambiguas.

El principal motivador de la iniciativa OBOR es la conectividad física: una infraestructura eficiente mejora la productividad, alienta la inversión y reduce los costos del comercio. La existencia de canales eficaces de intercambio de bienes y redes de información bien conectadas acelera el crecimiento, aumenta las oportunidades económicas y reduce la desigualdad.

La buena noticia es que esa infraestructura puede construirse en forma eficiente y rentable. La clave es una cooperación que aproveche las ventajas comparativas de cada país (trátese de capital, habilidades tecnológicas, capacidades logísticas o constructivas, materias primas o incluso bienes industriales). Esta estrategia puede ser disparador de desarrollo en países de bajos ingresos y ayudar a las economías emergentes a eludir la temida trampa de los ingresos medios.

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