Columbia is known for its considerably open economy with long established free trade agreements with the United States, Canada and the EFTA states of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Iceland. The nation also possesses a trade surplus, as opposed to the a phase during 2009 which affected Columbia’s trade but not for long. In fact the country has bounced back to compete with the US dollar on an almost even keel.
There are many business opportunities in Colombia, and one of those is in the infrastructure industry. If you are planning to invest in or maybe even establish a business in the Colombian infrastructure industry, it is important that you know about the current state of Colombia. This kind of market research is vital for your business for you to be able to gauge if what you are planning is feasible and attainable.
What should you know about the Colombian infrastructure industry?
The Colombian infrastructure industry has a lot of potential - 1,991 km of the country’s 3,313 km of railways is now being managed and revamped, with current projects underway. The country also has 164,000 km of roads, 86% of which are still unpaved yet currently undergoing developments.
Colombia also has various international infrastructure obligations - a regional integration plan launched by 12 South American countries back in 2000 assigned 33 projects to the country. The Colombian government also signed free-trade agreements and is still hoping for more.
Major investments are also aimed at improving the Colombian infrastructure industry, and the goal is to double the length of Colombia’s dual carriageways, modernize Bogota’s airport, renovate railways, and expand shipping routes.
What are the best prospects for your business investments?
Colombia has great potential when it comes to areas such as engineering and construction, bridge design, aeronautical infrastructure, intelligent transportation systems, road safety, and railroads. With the country’s political will, overflowing potential, and your investment, Colombia is set out to become one of the world’s infrastructure success stories of the decade.
What are Colombia’s specific plans for its infrastructure industry?
Colombia envisions many things happening for its infrastructure industry. Know these plans and goals for you to better understand the business situation and assess which area you’ll be investing in.
- TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE: Over the period of 10 years, beginning in 2014, Colombia aims to boost its four lane highway system by 100%, and railways and seaport capacity will increase by 50%, There will also be 35% more passengers travelling by air. The nation is presently upgrading its urban transportation via roads, rail and airports while the waterways including river and sea routes are also undergoing improvement.
- TOLL ROADS: The country’s government recently signed 25 contracts, and now, more than 6, 035 km of roads are currently under concession.
- RAILWAYS: Two contracts have been signed by the Colombian government, and 743 km or railway lines are now under concession. The goal is to increase cargo movement through freight rail traffic from the current 35 million tons to 90 million tons annually by 2018.
Infrastructural projects in Colombia
In order to boost its business environment, Colombia has been investing in and working towards improving its infrastructural set up for many years now.
Transport Infrastructure in Colombia covers the roads, other urban transportation, railways, waterways, seaports and airports. By the year 2018, it is projected that 4,300 kilometres of toll roads including four lane highways will be available at concession rates and 2,340 kilometres of railways will be operational around the country. The expected freight movement by rail is expected to increase from 35 million tons in 2013 to 90 million tons per year by 2018.
With the privatization of public seaports, approximately 7 new ports along the Atlantic coastline and 3 on the Pacific side are being added to the Colombian infrastructural portfolio. While 23 local airports are being enhanced, the two main airports - one as Bogota’s alternate and another at Flandes have been restructured. To systematize the usage of The Rio Magdalena, the creation of a waterway corridor network was granted in 2013. This ambitious project involving a 5 year building phase followed by a 7 year maintenance period is targeted at boosting cargo transportation greatly within the country.
What’s the next step after deciding to invest in Colombia’s infrastructure industry?
If you or your company is interested in government contracts but are foreign and non-residents, appoint an agent or a legal representative residing in Colombia to ensure a smooth flow of processing documents and formalities needed for your business investment. Connect with the local entities in Colombia, and with this, your investments in the infrastructure industry are sure to contribute to Colombia’s overall economic progress and country data.