Regulatory works

Colombia seeks to change prior consultation regulation to stimulate investment.

Colombia’s Economic Reactivation Program was detailed recently and includes a significant allocation towards infrastructure projects.

Previous infrastructure projects in Colombia have faced major bottlenecks including: the purchase of land, the problems of public services networks, delays in environmental licenses and, above all, prior consultations.

One important part of the reactivation plan includes a proposal to improve the prior consultation process. Prior consultations are designed to strike a balance between development and the protection of minorities and ethnic groups when projects or works are proposed in their territory.

A Colombian asset manager explains, “Despite good intentions, prior consultation is a slow process that leads to cost and time overruns for infrastructure projects. The last generation of infrastructure projects (4G) did not account for these consultations and they became the responsibility of the concessionaire. In the next generation of projects (5G) the government wants the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) to lead prior consultations.”

“Despite good intentions, prior consultation is a slow process that leads to cost and time overruns for infrastructure projects.”

Asset manager, Colombia

A partner in Baker McKenzie, Colombia, has blamed inefficiency and incompetence at the authorities and exaggerated requests from the communities as the primary failings of prior consultations, not the process itself. The asset manager agrees, “It is a never-ending issue because the communities often take advantage of the mechanism to make outrageous demands.”

It is not certain that any changes will be made though, as an executive of ProColombia explains, “This is the second time Congress has debated a bill on prior consultations, nothing happened the first time. Despite this, the government has clearly stated that it will revisit regulation that isn’t working as intended to promote investment and economic reactivation.”

“This is the second time Congress has debated a bill on prior consultations, nothing happened the first time.”

Executive, ProColombia

In agreement with this, a report by the Colombian Chamber of Infrastructure (CCI), states, “Colombia is taking positive steps to address the country’s historic resistance to energy, mining and infrastructure projects.”

Undoubtedly, unlocking projects that require prior consultations will be key to reviving regions, employment, ethnic groups and the economy as a whole. 

Important Notice
While the information in this article has been prepared in good faith, no representation, warranty, assurance or undertaking (express or implied) is or will be made, and no responsibility or liability is or will be accepted by Deheza Limited or by its officers, employees or agents in relation to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness or reasonableness of this article, or of any other information (whether written or oral), notice or document supplied or otherwise made available in connection with this article. All and any such responsibility and liability is expressly disclaimed.
This article has been delivered to interested parties for information only. Deheza Limited gives no undertaking to provide the recipient with access to any additional information or to update this article or any additional information, or to correct any inaccuracies in it which may become apparent.

Most recent in Infrastructure

The need to restructure infrastructure

Transforming infrastructure in Latin America.

Roseau’s Renaissance

The Roseau Enhancement Project and its complexities in Dominica.

Transforming Brazil’s aviation landscape

Challenges and opportunities in the new growth acceleration programme. 

Mexico’s ‘megareforma’

Balancing public interests and investors' concerns.

Turbulent recovery

Caribbean airports refurbished as international flights return to pre-pandemic levels but regional flights lag.

Smart stadiums

Could technology in use at the World Cup transform Latin America’s stadiums?

Sustainable roadways

Could post-pandemic investment in sustainable road infrastructure plug Latin America’s infrastructure gap?

Aging infrastructure

Floods highlight decades of underinvestment in water infrastructure in the Dominican Republic.

Dollar threat

A strong dollar presents a risk to Colombia’s import-dependent construction industry.

Reinventing the city

Cities across Latin America are investing in urban reform projects to revitalise city centres.