How to increase Colombia’s competitiveness?

Energy, Regulation & Policy, Renewables    Jun 26, 2019 2:49 PM

The 2019 South America Energy Series took place in Bogotá. Industry experts and governmental entities debated how to increase the country’s competitiveness.

The President of the National Environmental Licensing Agency (ANLA), Rodrigo Suarez, opened the event explaining that the entity has worked to assure fiscal benefits for solar projects.

This, aside from incentivizing the development of new projects, will translate into more job opportunities, progress and environmental benefits for the departments of La Guajira and Cesar.

Although Suarez acknowledged that there is still a long way to go to improve Colombia’s communication strategy and attract investors, he was clear to say that the entity has come a long way when it comes to the optimization of administrative processes.

“Just to give an example, the ANLA’s Investors Guide went from having 30 pages to having four,” he said.

Suarez intervention was followed by a panel discussion between energy associations, in which the main topic of debate was Electricaribe and public policies in the energy sector.

For Roberto Cajamarca, Analyst at Asoenergía, the way that the government is handling the Electrocaribe situation is a cause for concern, since “the way authorities are choosing new investors goes against promoting competition in the national market.”

Daniel Romero, Head of the Colombian Association of Entrepreneurs (ANDI), warned that the energy sector has turned into a revenue source for the government, which again, goes against the country’s competitiveness.

For Edwin Cruz, General Manager at Asocodis, the government has done a good job at implementing equity-based public policies in the energy sector, highlighting that this service has reached neglected rural areas.

The expert, however, asked the government to promote guarantees for companies and users in a competitive market, calling for the implementation of a ‘differential scheme’ that adjusts to the needs of each area of the country.

Bottom-line: Suarez tried to send a message of tranquility to the industry, but it was clear that there is still a lot of room to improve when it comes to the optimization of industry processes.

As for the debate, although energy service coverage issues need to be resolved, authorities cannot neglect quality matters, especially in the Caribbean coast.

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