Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos on Friday announced 30 bids worth $22.65 billion for construction of the ‘Ruta del Sol’ motorway.
The motorway is set to link the Caribbean coast with the Pacific via Bogota. The World Bank recently cited poor transportation as one of the main factors of economic uncompetitiveness in Colombia, something an efficient transnational route will dramatically improve.
President Santos also announced that the $22.65 billion will only be delivered “when the works are…complete.” This addendum comes after numerous reports of infrastructure project funds being embezzled while the works go unfinished.
In addition to hopes of faster-paced construction, Santos claimed that the ‘Ruta del Sol’ project will create 5,000 jobs.
According to the Economist, “the costs of Colombia’s deficient infrastructure — which came 79 of 139 countries’ networks ranked by the World Economic Forum — are massive.” Luis Carlos Villegas, the head of the national industry group, likened the infrastructure deficit to a 10-15% tax. Government planners added that resolving it could raise annual GDP growth by a full percentage point.