If Colombia’s government and rebels of the FARC succeed in striking a peace deal, the country’s economy could see Asia-like growth of 6% to 7% for decades, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas told Bloomberg News.
In an interview published Friday, the minister said a peace agreement could open the country’s massive eastern plains — currently hardly accessible because of rebel-related violence — to Brazilian-style agribusiness.
“My bet is that if anything is going to grow faster in Colombia with the end of the conflict, it’s going to be agricultural production. We’re talking about palm oil, soybeans, rubber, sugarcane, things like that,” Cardenas told Bloomberg.
Colombia’s finance chief stressed that his country’s economic growth does not stand or fall on successful peace talks, as the economy — still under pressure from ongoing attacks on oil and mining industry — can still grow at an “outstanding” long-term pace of 4.5% to 5% even if the talks fail.
According to Cardenas, peace “will add to economic growth, but we already have outstanding economic growth.”
While rebels had stepped up attacks between 2011 and 2012, Colombia’s state statistics agency said Thursday the economy had grown 4.9% in the second quarter of this year.