Simon Gaviria at work

Gaviria at work. (Image: National Planning Department)


LatAm in Focus: Simón Gaviria on Financing Peace in Colombia

By Holly K. Sonneland

Colombia’s GDP will grow an additional 1.9 percent per year in a post-conflict era, forecasts the National Planning Department director.

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As Colombia nears a final peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, aka the FARC, one new challenge presents itself: what will be the financial costs—and gains—of a country at peace?

To answer that question, AS/COA Online’s Holly Sonneland talked with Simón Gaviria, director of Colombia’s National Planning Department, and son of ex-president César Gaviria. His department, which has a budget of $250 million for 2016, conducted research of similar conflicts worldwide to determine the appropriate strategies for development and projects. Among their findings: they expect GDP to grow up to an additional 1.9 percent annually in a post-conflict era. Moreover, increased formality will lead income per capita to grow 10 to 15 percent over a ten-year period, and foreign direct investment is expected to triple.

Hear Gaviria explain more about how peace is measured and what’s on his agenda.

Q: "If murder rates are dropping, is Colombia already at peace?"
A: "That’s only if you look at peace from a homicide point of view."

Luisa Leme contributed production support to this episode. Inset image of Gaviria by Carlos Sepulveda.