Colombia will bring home the $5.3 billion from its International Monetary Fund loan at a gradual pace to avoid causing turbulence in currency markets and to improve the chances of the nation getting a more favorable exchange rate, deputy Finance Minister Juan Pablo Zarate said. Colombia will be the first country to tap an IMF flexible credit line, a pre-approved source of funding that comes with no conditions on how it’s spent. The finance ministry is targeting a fiscal deficit at 8.2% of gross domestic product this year, narrowing to 5.1% in 2021.
Colombia presented a natural gas supply plan to ensure the supply and reliability for the next ten years, which includes eight works that will attract investments of approximately $ 800 million. The plan ratified the need to build a Regasification Plant in the Colombian Pacific, given the progressive reduction of natural gas reserves (in the last year, gas reserves went from 9.8 years to 8.1 years), the time of entry of new production projects of national gas and the reliability of this service.
Colombia's trade balance deficit fell 41.6% in August to $ 827.9 million, when compared to the same month last year, due to a greater reduction in imports amid the slowdown in consumption during the coronavirus pandemic. The deficit in august resulted from imports for $ 3,397.9 million and exports for $ 2,570 million, said the National Department of Statistics (DANE). In August, the value of imports fell by 27.4% year-on-year, while that of exports fell by 21.3%.
The National Administrative Department of Statistics (Dane) reported that Colombian imports to August totaled $ 27,975.9 million, a 20.8% drop when compared with the same period of 2019. The biggest drop occurred in the segment of fuels and extractive industries, which presented a decrease of 44.5%, compared to the first eight months of last year. These activities fell from $ 3,780 million to US $ 2,099 million in 2020.
Chiper, a Colombian e-commerce platform for independent merchants, raised $12m in Series A funding. Backers included WIND Ventures, Monashees and Kaszek Ventures. The company, which has built a large branded network of digitized corner stores in Latin America, will use the funds to expand its active user base, with the goal of having over 30,000 active users or 5% market penetration by the end of 2021.