The Colombian centrla bank reported that, as of August 2020, Colombia's external debt reached $ 150 billion, an increase of 10.85% compared to August 2019 ($ 135 billion). As a percentage of GDP, the country's external debt as of August of this year rose to 53.6%, above the 42% registered in the same month of 2019. As of August 2020, the public external debt reached $ 83 billion, while the private sector debt amounted to US $ 66.9 billion.
IDB Invest, a member of the US-based Inter-American Development Bank, recently subscribed to a four-year bond of $39.6 million to be issued by Banco W, a Colombian credit institution. The funds are slated to reach 25,000 female-led microenterprises and support the “development of the capital markets and thematic bonds in Colombia.” The bond is registered with the Colombian Stock Exchange, and IDB Invest describes it as “social” based on its support for the UN Sustainable Development Goal: Decent Work and Economic Growth; Gender Equality; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; and No Poverty.
Colombia's closely watched tender for unconventional exploration pilot projects drew a sole proposal from state-controlled Ecopetrol, with private-sector contenders bowing out. The two other pre-qualified bidders, ExxonMobil and Colombian coal mining company Drummond, did not present proposals by the 6 November deadline, the national energy regulator ANH said. But the agency asserted that it was already preparing a second round that would follow the issuance of delayed regulations, particularly in the environmental space.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs projects that Colombia's GDP will fall 7.4% in 2020 and that it will recover and grow 5.1% in 2021. Goldman Sachs' forecast for Colombia is worse than that of the Ministry of Finance, which sees GDP falling 5.5% and similar to that of the Banco de la República, which projects that the fall will be 7.6%.
Colombia's state-run oil company Ecopetrol is set to expand its exploration portfolio in the coming weeks by securing new agreements for up to nine expired licenses. The Bogotá-based company is seeking 100% operating interests in the areas, mostly in the Piedemonte region of the Llanos basin.
Avocados have become a major fresh produce export earner for Colombia, with shipments reaching $ 95m in the first nine months of 2020, an increase of 34 per cent on the year-earlier period. Corpohass, Colombia’s Hass avocado producer and exporter association, is to launch a new sustainability seal that could serve as a template for other produce sectors in the country.