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Colombian peace dividend

Monday, September 5, 2016

The peace accord signed last month by the government and the main rebel group, should help attract investment to Colombia.

Doubts persist about the effectiveness of the agreement, which Colombians would have to ratify by means of a referendum, to be held on October 2.

A government plan to fund provide new revenue streams for members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC in Spanish) will take time.

FARC areas can expect to see a restructuring of agribusiness, as well as the exploration of potential oil-gas deposits, for which several licenses have already been awarded.

Meawnhile, the FARC as part of the accord is committed to getting out of the cocaine business, historically an important soure of revenue.

Another concern is the persistence of another guerilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN in Spanish), which remains active, including the detonation of several bombs during the past week.

On the other hand, the peace accord is a breakthrough, including a recognition by the FARC for the first time in half a century, of the legitimacy of the Colombian government.

Both antagonists should benefit from growth in a country with nearly universal literacy, and a diversified economy with extensive natural resources, as well as logistics assets, which include the Bogotá hub of Avianca Airlines, and ports on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oeans.

The ELN for its part is small, compared to the FARC.