Colombian president seeks business confidence in face of crisis

14:43, November 11, 2009      

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Colombia would focus on building the confidence needed to attract investment and keep markets open in the face of its collapsed trade, President Alvaro Uribe told the closing plenary session of the Mexico Business Summit on Tuesday.

Uribe said Colombia had seen sharp declines in its trade with the United States, Mexico, Europe and its neighbors, Venezuela and Ecuador. However, Colombia was able to gain confidence from international financial bodies and a solid investment trend, he added.

Uribe has been pushing since he took office in 2002 to boost the nation's investment rate, which stood at 25 to 28 percent in the past few years, up from a previous 12 to 14 percent. It even held firm at 25.9 percent during the first quarter of this year when the world was mired in economic recession.

Uribe said foreign reserves and deposit insurance had totaled 25 billion U.S. dollars and three billion dollars, respectively. Foreign Direct Investment peaked near 10.6 billion dollars last year.

Given Colombia's backwardness in infrastructure, the government launched an infrastructure program which would "bring a 42 percent growth in public works and help overcome declines in trade and industry," Uribe said.

Source: Xinhua
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