Developments on the 4G Road Infrastructure Program
On September 11, the Government of Colombia (GOC) signed three contracts totaling USD 1.5 billion to develop road infrastructure in the country, part of the Fourth-Generation Concession Plan (“4G”). Over the next five years, the GOC plans to award a total of 40 projects worth USD 26 billion. China’s Gezhouba Group is the only foreign company that has entered as a primary bidder. Other companies from Portugal, Spain, Israel and Costa Rica are participating in bidding, but as members of consortiums with Colombian firms. U.S. companies have not participated in any bids thus far.
Though the government awarded six contracts related to the 4G project in 2014 in total, none of the projects have secured financing for the construction phase. However, the Latin American Development Bank (CAF) on September11 highlighted the creation of a debt fund of USD 500 million to provide financing in Colombian pesos to complement the work of local banks.
Tiffany & Co. Arrives in Colombia
In September, American multinational luxury jewelry and specialty retailer Tiffany & Co. opened its first store in Bogota. The company joins several other high-end international retailers, including Dolce and Gabbana, Burberry’s and Frey Wille, recently attracted to Colombia by potential profits as the country’s economy steadily improves and local appetite for luxury items increases. According to a recent report by El Tiempo newspaper, luxury brands are witnessing a “golden age” in Colombia, with a 12.3 percent increase in revenues in 2013 compared to 2012. Tiffany & Co. operates in five other Latin America countries.
Colombian Oil Production Up in August
Colombia’s oil production rose 3.2 % in August compared to July, totaling 999,000 barrels per day (bpd). Taking into account statistics from August, average annual oil production is currently 983,000 bpd.