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Colombia has launched an 11tn-peso (US$5.64bn) highway tender process, part of a masterplan that aims to improve and expand the country's road network and boost infrastructure investment.
The projects tendered are Girardot-Puerto Salgar, Perimetral de Cundinamarca, and five tranches of the so-called Autopistas para la Prosperidad, which are Autopista Conexión Norte, Autopista al Río Magdalena 2, Autopista Conexión Pacífico 2, y Autopista Conexión Pacífico 3.
The tenders "break the bottleneck that has delayed our development, our growth," President Juan Manuel Santos said in a ceremony to launch the process.
The nine tenders are part of a bigger 40-project, 49.5tn-peso plan to ramp up Colombia's roads.
"That is, without a doubt, the most ambitious project the country has had in its history by far," Santos said.
For the nine projects, infrastructure agency ANI received 172 applications in the prequalification process from 69 companies from Colombia, Israel, Spain, Austria, India, France, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Peru, China, Portugal, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Brazil.
Colombia expects that with its fourth generation of concessions, dubbed 4G, some 3%-6% of the national GDP will go towards infrastructure investments by 2016, compared to the current 1.5% of GDP, according to deputy infrastructure minister Javier Alberto Hernández.