Social Infrastructure, a promising sector for the arrival of foreign investment
Currently, Colombia has social infrastructure policies for housing, water conservation, schools, and hospitals, as well as programs that are fundamental in the reduction of social divisions and the improvement of economic and social development processes and the population’s standard of living.
Within this sector, investment projects for prisons, schools, aqueducts, wastewater treatment plants (WTP), and others, have found a way to attain investments under the PPP scheme that the public sector on its own would not be able to attain.
The schemes established for such partnerships are regulated by Law 1508 of 2012, which involves various sectors, both in social and productive infrastructure. Furthermore, given that these projects are a priority in the public agenda, it is worth highlighting the following milestones:
- In the Unified Registry of Public-Private Partnerships (RUAPP, as per its Spanish acronym), there are more than 300 initiatives for the development of social infrastructure in Colombia.
- Colombia has been awarded the first social PPP in its history. The Bosa Hospital will be built by foreign firms that will invest nearly US $150 million and guarantee its operation as of 2023.
- Cities such as Bogotá, Pereira, and Santa Marta have wastewater treatment projects seeking foreign direct investment, which amount to an approximate investment of US $2.4 billion in public-private schemes where the commercial risk is assumed by the corresponding public utility companies.
- In educational infrastructure, Colombia estimates a deficit of 51,143 classrooms, representing an investment of approximately US $2.5 billion. A plan is currently underway to bridge this gap through public-private partnerships that will allow for the construction, adaptation, operation, and maintenance of 70 schools in 8 cities in Colombia. These investments benefit 63,400 children in 93 municipalities in 25 departments, and directly stimulate the growth of the construction sector.
- Among the main goals established in the National Development Plan 2018-2022, the Government foresees significant investment in the development of infrastructure for public buildings. This section presents the most important current opportunities in this sector, among which are the Paloquemao Judicial Complex in Bogotá with an approximate investment of US $314 million, and the prisons in Barrancabermeja and Uramita with investments of US $170 million and US $220 million, respectively.