PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Supports Improved Public Spending and Productivity in Colombia

March 16, 2017


Washington, March 16, 2017—In order to support Colombian government efforts to maintain fiscal sustainability and accelerate productivity growth, the World Bank Board of Directors approved today a new loan totaling US$ 600 million.

The First Fiscal Sustainability and Competitiveness Development Policy Financing Project will support measures of fiscal consolidation and increased productivity in non-extractive sectors to diversify sources of growth. Specifically, it will work to facilitate trade, investment, competition, business regulation, and innovation.

“This credit operation is crucial for us because it recognizes -- and reflects World Bank support of -- the policy activities that we had to adopt to achieve an ordered macroeconomic adjustment in response to the shock our economy suffered with the decline in oil prices,” said Mauricio Cárdenas, Minister of Finance and Public Credit.  “We continue our disciplined efforts to achieve the responsible management of our public finances, as well as to consolidate our current activities to ensure economic growth without losing jobs or investments.”

This support will help the country become more resistant to external shocks and will promote stability and growth. The fiscal space created by the planned reforms will enable the government to maintain priority spending, including the expenditures needed to support private-sector growth and peace-related activities.

 “The peace process underway has the potential to stimulate growth and land development. However, for this to be sustainable, the country must accompany it with measures to improve productivity and fiscal reforms that provide space for critical expenditures while the necessary process to consolidate peace-building continues,” said Gerardo Corrochano, World Bank director for Colombia and Mexico.

The support seeks to increase investor confidence and reduce private-sector costs for opening and operating a new business. Expected concrete results for 2018 include the online registration of 5,000 companies (simplified private limited companies) through the new single window for registering new companies.

The implementing agencies of this loan will be the Ministry of Finance and the National Planning Department. The loan will mature in 20 years, including a grace period of 19.5 years.

Contacts:

Washington: Marcela Sánchez-Bender, +1 (202) 473-5863, msanchezbender@worldbank.org

Colombia: Maria Clara Ucrós,+ 57-1-3238259, mucros@worldbank.org

Learn more about the work of the World Bank in Latin America and the Caribbean: www.worldbank.org/lac  

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News Release

2017/179./LAC

 

Media Contacts
In Washington
Marcela Sánchez-Bender
Tel : +1 (202) 473-5863
msanchezbender@worldbank.org
In Colombia
Maria Clara Ucrós
Tel : + 57-1-3238259
mucros@worldbank.org

PRESS RELEASE NO:
2017/179/LAC