September 26, 2023
General News

Antioquia’s ‘Prosperity Highways’ Will Boost Economy, Jobs, Transport: Study

A new study by the University of Antioquia and University Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) finds that Antioquia’s COP$12 trillion (US$4 billion) “Prosperity Highways” to be built over the next five years will have a huge impact on economic growth, jobs and freight transport logistics.

Antioquia’s gross domestic product (“PIB” in Spanish initials) will double within 14 years – about half the time required for normal “PIB” growth, according to the study. As a result, Antioquia’s annual “PIB” will grow at a 6% rate, up from an average 4.5% in recent years – and almost twice the PIB growth projected for Colombia as a whole in 2015.

Meanwhile, the 35 smaller municipalities (not including Medellin) in the areas-of-influence of the new “fourth generation” (4G) highways will see their annual tax revenues jump by COP607 billion (US$205 million), three times what they collected in 2014, according to the study.

During the highway-construction phase, Antioquia’s unemployment rate will plummet to 5% — down from 10.6% today, with 190,000 new jobs created, according to the study.

Travel times between major cities in Colombia will be slashed by up-to-43%. Trips between the port of Turbo (in Antioquia) and Buenaventura (Colombia’s principal Pacific port) will drop to 10.8 hours, from 19 hours currently.

Similarly, travel times between Medellin and Cartagena will fall to 9.5 hours, from 14 hours currently, the study shows.

The new highway network also would boost Antioquia’s national economic standing, as it will enable a big boost in export-import freight transport.

For example: Agricultural exports from Antioquia jumped 9.15% last year, led by bananas, flowers and coffee, according to the study.

The study notes that Antioquia is already the biggest single exporter in all Colombia (19.8% share), versus 14.9% share for Cesar, 11.8% for Bogota, 9.1% for La Guajira, 8.5% for Valle de Cauca, 6.3% for Bolivar, 6.0% for Cundinamarca, 5.2% for Atlantico and 2.9% for Caldas.

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