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Colombia: Investing in peace

Friday, October 10, 2014

Disarmament of rebels, re-allocation of property rights and registration of land ownership, together with the formalization of local government and tax operations will involve an investment of some $45 billion over ten years, Roy Barreras, co-chair of the Peace Commission of the Colombian Senate, said last week.

But the cost would be low, since Colombia would experience a peace dividend worth as much as $50 billion annually, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace.

The government currently spends around $7 billion on defense, and on reparations for victims of the conflict.

President Juan Manuel Santos will travel to Europe next month, seeking support from the European Union, a fund to help finance a post-conflict stage.

The United States, one of Colombia's main allies in the fight against drug trafficking, also reiterated its support for the demilitarization process.

Colombia could have a growth rate of 7%, if the peace process is completed and the country proceeds with an infrastructure investment program developed with the private sector, said the Minister of Finance, Mauritius Cardenas.

GDP growth for this year and next is expected to be 4.5%, according to International Monetary Fund estimates released last week.

Colombia is among the countries with the most robust growth in Latin America.

The civil war between the central government and the FARC insurgents dates back to 1963.