Regional development policies

Co-ordination across levels of government

Place-based policies should be promoted: the potential for regional growth will depend largely on how public policies adapt to the specific and varied characteristics and opportunities of the different Chilean regions. • Improving access to infrastructure, basic services and telecommunications in rural areas and peripheral regions represents a potential source of growth that would increase the country’s overall growth performance. • To improve the prospects of rural areas, there is a need to shift from sectoral agricultural policies towards comprehensive rural development programmes. • Chilean regions would benefit particularly from policies aimed at boosting productivity, such as those targeted at innovation and entrepreneurship, and at improving education and training. • The technological upgrading of traditional industries for innovation-led growth can be a spur for regions like Valparaiso or Bio-Bio, and for the northern regions in which manufacturing is underdeveloped. • Bottom-up diagnoses of regional productive advantages can help to find untapped regional resources for diversifying the economy. This would also make it possible to take account of territorial spillovers among sectors and regional dynamics. • It will be important to give extended competences to regional governments to allow them to be active in the discussion, planning and co-ordination of regional development policies. • The potential of the Programming Agreements (taking advantage of the recently approved Constitutional Reform on Regional Government and Administration) could be further developed. This multi-level contractual arrangement could help in the co-ordination of regional and sectoral priorities. • Other mechanisms, such as capacity building, performance management systems and strengthened participation schemes, should be promoted in order to strengthen regional and local capacities and performance. Finally, there is a need to strengthen the governance structure of metropolitan areas to improve the delivery of key public services and promote an integrated urban system.

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