Colombia Builds Road to the Sun

Sep 1, 2007

With the IFC's help, Colombia is drawing up its own blueprint for infrastructure finance. Local investors are rubbing their hands as the government seeks a replicable model.

"Ruta del Sol" is becoming a utopian catch phrase in Colombia's business community, which is eagerly anticipating $35 billion in infrastructure spending over the next three years. The unbuilt highway, which will connect Bogotá, located at the geographical center of the country, to three key Caribbean ports – Barranquilla, Cartagena and Santa Marta – is part of a grand experiment being cooked up by the federal government and IFC that could result in a new template for LatAm infrastructure finance.

The goal is to create a new model for auctions of large-scale concessions – one that departs from the current standard where projects are solely financed with capital from engineering companies. The new model would include participation from both international and local investors, all the while circumventing political interference. This is a tall order, but the IFC feels up to the task.

"We want to create a new blueprint...

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