Infrastructure

The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2013) ranked the quality of overall infrastructure of Colombia 92nd out of 148 countries. The qualities of roads, railroad infrastructure, and port infrastructure were found to be the most problematic, ranked at 130th. Colombia is split by the Andes into three chains and its Pacific coast is obstructed by jungle. These geographical characteristics make it difficult to build transport infrastructure as the average cost of building a kilometer of road in Colombia in the Andes (USD 10 million) is significantly higher than in the US (USD 2.25 million) or Europe (USD 2.6 million). Moreover, existing infrastructure is in poor condition. Colombia has paved only 15 per cent of its roads and has just 1,000 kilometers of dual-lane divided highways, leading to the second-fewest vehicles per person in South America. It also has 900 kilometers of railroads and is yet to develop river navigation to transport goods on a large-scale. In addition to poor conditions to establish or improve the transport infrastructure, the supply of trans-border transportation services is limited. Foreign companies can only provide multimodal freight services within or from Colombian territory if they have a domiciled agent or representative legally responsible for its activities in Colombia. International cabotage companies can provide cabotage services (i.e. between two points within Colombia) “only when there is no national capacity to provide the service” according to Colombian law. Cargo reserve requirements in transport have remained for foreign vessels of those nations that impose reserve requirements on Colombian vessels.

Source: WEF, 2013, Global Competitiveness Report 2013-14
BTI, 2012, Country Report (Colombia)
BBVA Research, 2012, Economic Watch (Colombia)
The Economist, 2013, Taking the Slow Road – Infrastructure in Colombia
WTO, 2012, Trade Policy Review (Colombia)

Indicator Value Rank/148
Quality of overall infrastructure How would you assess general infrastructure (e.g., transport, telephony, and energy) in your country? [1 = extremely underdeveloped—among the worst in the world; 7 = extensive and efficient—among the best in the world] | 2012–13 weighted average. 3.52 84
Quality of roads How would you assess roads in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 2.59 121
Quality of railroad infrastructure How would you assess the railroad system in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 1.45 103
Quality of port infrastructure How would you assess port facilities in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = well-developed and efficient by international standards). For landlocked countries, this measures the ease of access to port facilities and inland waterways | 2010, 2011. 3.47 101
Quality of air transport infrastructure How would you assess passenger air transport infrastructure in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 3.99 90
Individuals using Internet (%) Internet users are people with access to the worldwide network. 102.85 81
Mobile telephone subscriptions/100 pop According to the World Bank, mobile cellular telephone subscriptions are subscriptions to a public mobile telephone service using cellular technology, which provides access to switched telephone technology. Postpaid and prepaid subscriptions are included. This can also include analogue and digital cellular systems but should not include non-cellular systems. Subscribers to fixed wireless, public mobile data services, or radio paging services are not included. 48.98 62
Fixed broadband Internet subscriptions/100 pop: The International Telecommunication Union considers broadband to be any dedicated connection to the Internet of 256 kilobits per second or faster, in both directions. Broadband subscribers refers to the sum of DSL, cable modem and other broadband (for example, fiber optic, fixed wireless, apartment LANs, satellite connections) subscribers. 8.16 65