The World Bank has approved a loan of $500 million to Colombia to support the Andean country's basic infrastructure needs and protect vulnerable groups during the coronavirus pandemic, it said on Wednesday. The loan will also go towards developing resilient and sustainable infrastructure to support Colombia's economic recovery and to promote the use of renewable energy sources and reducing carbon emissions. During the first six months of the year, the World Bank lent Colombia $1.25 billion and provided the country with $250 million in contingency financing to help its coronavirus response.
The Colombian Minister of Finance presented a bill to the national Congress to increase the country's debt quota by $ 14,000 million for the debt quota of the National Government; and an increase of $ 3,000 million for the guarantee quota, with the idea of finding the resources to meet the needs of the crisis due to the coronavirus.
Colombia's jobless rate fell to 16.8% in August from 20% in july, while the urban rate was 19.6% (vs 24.7% in july). The national rate in the same month of 2019 was 10.8%, and the urban rate was 11.4%, the government statistics agency said on Wednesday, based on surveys in the 13 biggest cities. The urban jobless rate is more closely watched by financial markets than the national figure. Nearly 70% of the workforce is in large cities.
The rating agency S&P Global Ratings revealed an update of its economic growth estimates for the main Latin American economies. For Colombia, the vision worsened from 6% this year to 8%, while for 2021 the expectation improved from 3% to 5.5%. According to their projections, most economies return to their pre-pandemic state (fourth quarter 2019) only by 2022, except Argentina and Mexico.
Colombia’s highway authority Invías launched a $74 mm tender to improve 745km of roads in three departments of the Andean region (Santander, Norte de Santander and Boyacá). Technical bids will be opened on October 29, while economic offers will be opened on December 1, with the contract expected to be awarded on the same date.
The Ministry of Agriculture has authorized $783,5 mm in incentives for the reactivation of cotton crops, as well as their commercialization. It is a package that is intended to be used in the current season on which more than 18,000 producers depend. The objective, according to the Minister Zea Navarro is to cover 7,000 hectares of the crop.
Nubank, the world's largest digital bank with 30 million customers, started operations in Colombia this Wednesday, announced its founder and president, David Vélez. The digital bank is expected to invest around $ 130.6 million in eight years, and create a systems engineering, data science and product center in Bogotá.