U.S. Agency OPIC Commits up to $300 Million USD for Highway, Housing, Commercial Building Projects in Colombia
Earlier this month, the U.S. government authorized $250 million USD in financing for construction of a four-lane highway in southwestern Colombia and up to another $50 million USD for housing and real estate projects.
The funds were approved by the board of the Washington-based Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), with the bulk of the investment going toward the Rumichaca-Pasto toll road that will connect a crossing on the border with Ecuador with the capital of the Nariño department. The highway “is expected to serve almost seven million vehicles per year by 2020,” according to OPIC.
Photo: In 2013, Colombia inaugurated a new Rumichaca bridge on the border of Ecuador, a route that will be improved by the highway with funding from OPIC. (Photo credit: Xavier Granja Cedeño – Cancillería Ecuador)
“Colombia is a key part of our strategy to invest more across the region,” said Ryan Brennan, vice president of OPIC, during a trip to the Andean nation for the Concordia Americas Summit.
The remainder of the funding, of up to $50 million USD, will contribute to funding the Avenida Capital “Colombia Real Estate Fund II,” (CREF II) which has a goal “to support the development of low- and middle-income housing and sustainable commercial and mixed-used projects in urban areas,” according to OPIC.
Avenida Capital has been investing in real estate projects in Latin America since 2010, with more than 40 projects in Colombia. It is investing in the development of more than 30,000 residential units and 2.7 million square meters of commercial space, according to the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá.
“Like many parts of the world, Colombia has a great need for housing and public spaces to support a growing population of people living and working in urban areas,” said Brennan, “OPIC’s partnership with Avenida will help us address this shortage.”
In addition to this major contribution to projects in Colombia, Brennan said that OPIC, which has a global portfolio of development-related totaling some $23 billion USD, plans to build on this and other projects in Central America and the region’s energy sector to continue investing in Latin America.
“We look forward to partnering with Colombia’s new government to invest in projects that drive economic growth, build critical infrastructure and create jobs and opportunity in Colombia and throughout Latin America,” said Brennan.