Colombian cities are economically uncompetitive due to poor transport infrastructure within cities and poor links between cities, said a report from the World Bank on Thursday.
To move one ton of products from Bogota to the Caribbean costs $94, while to move the same products from Cartagena to Shanghai, China by sea costs only $60, according to the report. In Bogota and Medellin, the nation’s two largest cities, the average travel speed is approximately 14 miles per hour, while in Los Angeles it is 29 mph and in New York 23 mph. This means that an average inhabitant of Bogota spends 70 minutes just trying to get out of the urban area to a main connecting road.
According to Carolina Barco, a coordinator at the national planning agency Planeacion Nacional, “the country has achieved a high level of urbanization, but our cities are not well connected.”
In November, the research organisation Fedesarollo also concluded that transport infrastructure is holding back Colombia’s economic growth.
The World Bank states that the economic consequences of shoddy transport infrastructure are significant. The study estimates that if Colombia had the same quality of infrastructure as Costa Rica, economic growth would be three percent higher.