Colombia's fourth generation of toll-road projects is
nearing completion. Since May this year, seven projects have
announced that they reached financial close.
Over recent years, the government's initiatives and support
have promoted the development of an attractive investment
environment for local and foreign stakeholders.
At the start of the process, the enactment of the
public-private partnerships law, as well as amendments to the
infrastructure regulations, encouraged world-class
infrastructure developers to invest in Colombia. For the first
time, the country hosted a series of public auctions with clear
rules. These auctions boosted the participation of key
investors who had previously been absent from Colombia's public
As the projects were adjudicated, a variety of lenders, both
local and foreign, including multilateral entities and
commercial banks, bet on Colombia's fourth generation projects.
Their willingness to be involved was driven by the warranties
contained in the regulatory changes, as well as Colombia's high
credit rating and the stability of its financial markets.
Now that the financing agreements are closed, project
sponsors face a new set of challenges to achieve project
completion. The next steps in the process will be satisfying
the conditions precedent for the disbursements, managing the
project costs, and complying with the construction schedule.
Concessionaires and project sponsors will have to make extra
efforts to comply with land acquisition plans and environmental
and social requirements. The government's support is
Notwithstanding the length of the process, stakeholders
remain confident about the fourth generation projects. As time
progresses and the projects advance, an increasing number of
people are looking at Colombia with interest This growing
interest is based on the certainty that infrastructure is the
cornerstone of a country's economic development.
Carlos Fradique-Méndez and Clara