BOGOTA – Infrastructure and agribusiness are the Colombian economic sectors in which investment-minded Spanish companies can best leverage their knowhow and experience, a government official said on Wednesday.
Dimitri Zaninovich, the Colombian Ministry of Transport’s deputy minister for infrastructure, made his remarks at the opening of a Colombia-Spain multilateral financing conference, which kicked off Wednesday in the Colombian capital.
“Spanish companies have always had one foot in Colombia, but now new opportunities are opening up in sectors like agribusiness and rural development,” the official said.
He added that the Colombian government’s investment in transport infrastructure increased five-fold over the past three years compared to the 2002-2004 period.
“We have the opportunity to build, together with Spain, its government and its companies, this new country full of opportunities, with the chance to implement (the) peace (deal) with investments that support the development of the entire territory” of Colombia, Zaninovich said.
Spain’s ambassador to Colombia, Pablo Gomez de Olea, echoed those remarks, noting that the South American country was especially attractive following the government’s signing last year of a historic peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group.
That agreement, which is now being implemented, has brought an end to decades of armed conflict.
Referring to agriculture, a sector in which Spain is a leader in Europe, the ambassador said Colombia could become the world’s food pantry if it capitalizes on large swaths of territory that had been no-go areas due to the conflict.