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February 27, 2020

Colombian Ambassador to ACEC Firms: ‘We are Open for Business!’

Colombian Ambassador to ACEC Firms: ‘We are Open for Business!’

By Dan Hilton

ACEC member firms had the opportunity this week to meet with Ambassador Francisco Santos of Colombia, who came to deliver a message to ACEC firms, “please come back to Latin America”.

Ranking just above Sub-Saharan Africa with its infrastructure needs, Colombia and Latin America represent a significant opportunity for US firms, many of whom have not competed for work in this region for decades, and it was noted by Ambassador Santos.

“Thirty years ago, we had several American firms well-engaged in Colombia, not so today, unfortunately, and they’re losing out on real opportunities,” said Ambassador Santos.

Energy, infrastructure including bridges, roads, and tunneling are a high priority in this region. According to Colombia’s Intermodal Transportation Master Plan 2015-2035 they intend to invest nearly $6 billion to rehabilitate and upgrade their 31 airports, more than $50 billion to improve their roads, which include 141 tunnels in this heavily mountainous region. This is work that will be done, the opportunities are real and the time to explore them is now!

In the near term, Colombia is currently seeking proposals to recover the navigability of the Magdalena River, with a deadline upcoming of March 5th.

Colombia has taken many measures to encourage U.S. participation, including removing impediments to foreign involvement, standard contract forms, transparent procurement processes, level and fair competition (no favoritism for domestic offerors), and similar actions. Some of the initial feedback provided by member firms in attendance was to recommend that the Colombian government include more information on the work that is needed, including the terms of contracts and local resources available.

Materials from the meeting, which include opportunities in Colombia can be viewed here and here.

Dan Hilton is ACEC Director Procurement Advocacy and International Affairs.


All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.

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