Without the armed conflict, Colombia’s economic growth could have been 8.7% instead of 4.3%, according to a new study from the conflict research institute.
In 2013, Colombia’s growth in GDP could have been almost twice as much as its current levels if the country did not suffer from the armed conflict, a new study by Colombia’s Resource Center For Conflict Analysis (CERAC) showed.
|“A significant positive impact in ending the armed conflict for the economy, welfare and development.”|
CERAC released the study called “What will Colombia gain with peace?” that gives an economic perspective on the future of Colombia without an armed conflict pointing out the benefits of peace.
According to the study, the income per capita would have been $16,700 without the armed conflict instead of the $11,200 registered in 2013.
Acceleration in economic growth
The armed conflict costs at least 0.5 percentage points of the growth of the Colombian GDP and at most 8.3 percentage points, the study showed.
The report defines peace as “a drastic reduction in violence associated with armed conflict,” and the study focuses on “the results of peace associated with minimal direct violence.”
The general conclusion is that there would be “a significant, positive impact in ending the armed conflict for the economy, welfare, and development” of Colombia.
The most significant benefit for Colombia would be the acceleration in economic growth without resources being wasted on dealing with the armed conflict.
The study found that there is a negative correlation between unstable and polarized governments, with levels of investment. Furthermore, without the conflict an additional 272,000 acres of productive land would produce an extra 700,000 tons of produce each year.
Recently, Colombia’s ambassador to Spain said that Colombia’s GDP could grow 2% if the armed conflict were to end.
The ambassador said that Colombia had recorded growth rates of between 4% and 5% of GDP in recent years, and a peace deal could add two points if the resources devoted to war and weapons were used in health and other public services that support development.
Better distribution of the land
The report highlights the fact that the ownership of land is more concentrated in areas where there is ongoing conflict with armed groups, and the resulting forced displacement of the people generates a further augmentation in the concentration of productive land ownership.
Colombia currently has an estimated displaced population of six million people. Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has already declared that the country does not have the capacity to immediately compensate all six million victims.
Fewer direct costs imposed by the conflict
The report notes that Colombia ranks among the top 22 countries with highest levels of expenditure directed towards violence, with approximately 11% of GDP being spent on the armed conflict.
Attacks by armed groups on Colombia’s infrastructure between 1999 and 2003 cost the country close to 2% of the GDP.