As security in the country continues to improve for businesses, Colombia’s government is shifting its economic agenda on toward lowering costs, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said Monday.
Up until now, economic planning has focused primarily on “lowering the cost of risk” for Colombia, said the finance minister in a press release. “But now we have to worry about lowering costs.”
What that means is that Colombia has turned its focus toward improvements in infrastructure, which currently stand as the main bottleneck stemming growth for the developing Andean country. Investment in energy and electricity is also a main focus.
One way Colombia’s government has set out to make improvements in areas like infrastructure is through public-private partnerships. Recently, Colombian officials celebrated a trade pact with a British trade mission. UK-Colombia Trade, which is set to ally British infrastructure companies with transportation and other logistics projects, is one way Colombia’s government hopes to clear up the congestion.
For an economy forecast to grow by 4.8% in 2013 and clamoring to gain a more competitive edge in the region, Cardenas sees the goal of stimulating domestic production as equally important to attracting foreign investment.
“To lower the country’s costs stimulates investment,” assured Cardenas. “But also, low cost of production is what helps to stimulate the economy, employment, and our capacity to compete.”
At the beginning of 2013, President Juan Manuel Santos promised around 40 trillion pesos (USD21.8 billion) for transportation infrastructure, meaning projects to develop ports, railways, and highways. A World Economic Forum ranking placed Colombia at 79 out of 139 in terms of infrastructure efficiency.
- Logramos mucho en bajar el riesgo pais ahora debemos concentrarnos en bajar el costs pais (Ministry of Finance)
- Colombia Prepara Millonaria inversion para infraestructura en 2013 (Unoticias)
- Colombia’s infrastructure: Bridging the Gaps (The Economist)