Vehicle Repairs & Parts Sectors Next to Reopen; Construction Sector Opportunities Arise in Medellin
Colombia’s Transport Ministry announced May 5 that — following consultations with local Mayors — vehicle repair shops and auto-parts stores will be the next economic sectors to be freed from Coronavirus quarantines.
“Based on the requests and evaluations of the municipal Mayors, the [Transport Ministry’s] Logistics and Transportation Center will approve the establishments that will be able to operate,” according to the Ministry.
“All establishments must comply with biosafety protocols in the framework of the fight against the pandemic derived from Covid-19. Employees must carry out their activities with the respective [biosafety rules] and good biosecurity practices.”
Any exemption from quarantine “must be done in compliance with the special biosecurity protocols established by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection,” according to the Ministry.
“Each Mayor’s office would receive a petition from each of the establishments, which must demonstrate their ability to comply with biosafety protocols and show proof of being legally constituted, that is, they must have a Commercial Registry before the respective Chamber of Commerce.
“The mayoralties will analyze the operating conditions of these establishments according to the particular needs and the control capacity of the sanitary emergency of each municipality, and will send the request to the [Transport Ministry’s] Logistics and Transportation Center for approval of operation of the establishments.”
The transport modes to be used by employees to-and-from these shops “should be taken into account, among other aspects, to minimize the concentrations of people and the peculiarities of each territory,” according to the Ministry.
Municipalities “will be in charge of regulating the activities of said establishments, as well as verifying that they comply with the sanitary standards required once they are serving the public.
“Once the respective Mayor’s office reviews the sufficiency, quality and veracity of the information sent in the petition by the establishments, that office will proceed to apply [for approval] to the Logistics and Transport Center . . .
“Subsequently, the Logistics and Transportation Center will review the registration of information and documentation by the territorial authorities, and will approve or reject the operation of the proposed establishments.
“The gradual reopening of vehicle maintenance workshops will reinforce the optimal operation of cargo and passenger transport vehicles — included in the exceptions to the mandatory preventive isolation measure — since they are the ones who ensure food supply and mobilization. of authorized persons throughout the country, as well as supplies and articles for health during the days of the emergency,” the Ministry added.
Medellin Mayor Cites Construction Sector Opportunities
On a related front, Medellin Mayor Daniel Quintero in a May 4 “virtual” meeting with business trade group Camacol Antioquia revealed new opportunities arising — thanks in part to “positive” experiences so-far with the reopening of construction and manufacturing sectors here.
Novel control-and-identification technologies and the use of “Big Data” are helping Medellin to reopen many companies and jump-start employment, via the pioneering “Medellin Me Cuida” computerized registration platform that helps to minimize risks of Coronavirus infections, he explained.
“With the reopening and everything we are safer than we were a week ago, because today we have companies that presented biosafety protocols, something that we did not have before. Even those companies previously exempt [from quarantines] presented a security protocol. Only 9,000 companies have not [yet] done so,” Quintero revealed.
“It is not because of our slowness [to help ensure a relatively safe economic reopening] that a job is lost in Antioquia. Destroying a job is very easy, creating it is very difficult. We do not want to close again — and for this we know that it is so important that citizens respect the rules and that businessmen respect the rules, as is the case of Antioquia, and that we civil servants creating dynamic and intelligent strategies that allow us to sustain this opening,” he added.
During the “virtual” meeting, Camacol Antioquia’s board “recognized the city’s progress in reviving the construction sector compared to other regions,” according to the Mayor’s office.
What’s more, Mayor Quintero also highlighted huge new opportunities arising from key projects over the next four years in the “Medellín Futuro 2020-2023 Development Plan,” which foresees a COP$22 trillion (US$5.59 billion) budget.
“There is undoubtedly a [firm commitment] there to advance construction and drive construction,” Quintero explained.
“As a result of the conversations with Camacol, we approved or reflected in the development plan that some city areas that today do not have construction [underway], but that have public services, can be built making a modification even to what the POT [zoning plan] had been proposing — as long as that happens in the next two years,” he said.