“We’ve invited investors around the world to get involved.”

Transport Minister Ángela María Orozco has served in Colombia’s government in a number of positions throughout a career spanning three decades, including Minister of Commerce and president of the state agency for exports. Now, she is leading the charge to implement major infrastruc­ture projects across the country, helping modernize Colombia and maximize its economic potential.

A new generation of roads completed

“The- 4G- network- of - roads- –- a- networkof modern highways across the country – had been practicall­y stalled for a long time, across previous administra­tions. Now, despite the pandemic, we have been able to complete almost all of them, and are gearing up to work on the next generation of PPPS – we’ve invited investors around the world to get involved and see what we’re doing. Road infrastruc­ture, and its constructi­on, has also been a key component of the economic reactivati­on following the Covid-19 shutdowns.”

A vital tunnel opened

“When-we-came-into-offi-ce,-a-number-of - projects had hit headwinds. Few were more symbolic or important to wider transport and infrastruc­ture than the La Linea tunnel, a project that had been practicall­y stalled since 2015. When we arrived, it was half completed – largely due to issues with contractor­s. But in September 2020 we opened the tunnel – the longest in Latin America, at 8.6 kilometers – which transects the central mountain range of the country, connecting Bogotá, the capital, with- western- Colombia- and- the- Pacifi-ccoast. The tunnel is part of a project comprising a 30-kilometer double-lane highway, that includes 25 tunnels, three roundabout­s and 31 bridges, which has changed lives and livelihood­s.”

Improved roads improve lives

“Alongside tunnels and highways, tertiary roads across the country are being paved for the-fi-rst-time-or-repaved.-this-allows-ruraland agricultur­al workers to better bring their products to market, and connects the entire country, while saving hours in lost travel time. A key road improvemen­t in the coffee region, connecting local tourist and coffee growing towns with major hubs, has just been announced.”

Infrastruc­ture transcends any political polarizati­on

“In order to implement infrastruc­ture, you have to work with governors, mayors, and parliament­arians, as they are the ones that best know their communitie­s and are key to the success of publicpriv­ate alliances. We have managed to work, despite any difference­s, with all these actors, keeping ourselves apart from any polarizati­on or partisansh­ip.”

Internatio­nal recognitio­n

“This March, Colombia hosted the inaugural High Level Regional Dialogue on Transport in Latin America, which was organized by the Ministry of Transport and showcased both our progress and our commitment to regional cohesion on issues of infrastruc­ture and transport. With 165 tunnels across the country, we also shared our expertise during the Worldwide Seminar on Road Tunnels this year, while our National Agency for Infrastruc­ture- won- the- 2021- Ijgglobalp­rize-for-the-adjudicati­on-of -the-5g-roadnetwor­ks. All of this highlights Colombia as a regional leader in transport.”

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