World Bank Promotes Productivity in Colombia through Increased Infrastructure, Training and Innovation

December 8, 2015

Washington, December 8th, 2015 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a €624.2 million (US$700 million) loan today to continue its support for Colombia’s sustained economic development. It focuses on supporting an increase in funding for infrastructure projects, training of workers and entrepreneurial innovation. This Development Policy Loan (DPL) was designed to support the Colombian administration’s budgetary program.

“It is crucial for Colombia to have had the support and assistance of the World Bank on issues as relevant as the ones being acknowledged by this credit operation, which will allow it to consolidate a sustainable path to economic growth in the medium and long term,” said Mauricio Cardenas, Minister of Finance and Public Credit. “This is due to the fact that it highlights the enormous effort by the National Government to undertake decisive policy actions to improve regulation and the institutions governing infrastructure financing, develop the capital market, improve the productivity of Colombian workers with inclusive and targeted policies, promote innovation, strengthen competitiveness and good competition practices and facilitate international trade.”

The support of the World Bank will continue in three key areas:

  • Increase financing alternatives for fourth-generation infrastructure projects and access to credit among small and medium enterprises.
  • Improve the productive capacity of the Colombian labor market.
  • Increase productivity through the promotion of innovation and an efficient regulatory environment for companies.

“Through the Government policies supported by this loan we expect to have a positive impact in social and poverty reduction terms, via the creation of jobs for the neediest, their increased participation in entrepreneurial activities, and a reduction in transport and logistics costs,” said Gerardo Corrochano, World Bank Director for Mexico and Colombia.

Some of the concrete results expected from this operation include an increase in fiscal benefits for science, technology and innovation and the establishment of regulations aligned with international best practices. It also seeks the efficient implementation of a secured movable assets registry, which will permit increased access to credit among companies using their movable assets as guarantee. Actions to strengthen the labor market, combined with the creation of a special regime for indigenous territories, which will allow increased access to education and productive skills in these communities without losing their customs and traditions.

The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit and the National Planning Department will be responsible for coordinating and executing this program, which seeks to support a series of structural reforms to promote long term growth in the country. The first loan, for the same amount, was approved in December of last year.

The current program represents to a second and last tranche of financing, which includes a 34.5-year maturity period and a 5-year grace period.

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Media Contacts
In Washington
Marcela Sanchez-Bender
Tel : +1 (202) 473-5863
In Colombia
Maria Clara Ucros
Tel : +57-1-326-3600