- The Guide To Cartagena, Colombia
   The Guide To Cartagena, Colombia


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Minister Oscar Iván Zuluaga

Neither recession nor financial crisis in Colombia, said the Ministry of Finance, Oscar Iván Zuluaga in an economical forum in Cartagena de Indias last week. The Minister, cited by Portafolio, the Colombian magazine on economics, said that the national economic is preserved from the global financial crisis due to a better domestic fiscal scenario, and that Colombia is the second Latin American nation with biggest private investment related to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Zuluaga announced also that he met 12 foreign investors that were interested in infrastructure projects per about 500 million dollars, but he did not say the names of those organizations.

However, a month ago the National Association of Industries (ANDI in its Spanish acronym), prevented about a fall in the national production in 0.6% during the first eight months of the year in comparisson with the same period for 2007. It has been the first time that it happens in the last nine years and that indicates a risk of national economical recession. By its part, the National Departament of Statistics (DANE), reported that the GDP grew only 3.7% in the period April - June, when it was 8% during the same period in 2007. The government predicted a growing of 5% for 2008, 2.35% less then the economical performance of 2007 in Colombia.

Last October Minister Zuluaga predicted a fall in the number of exports and more expensive credits as a result of the global crisis. He recognized then that the financial crisis generated in USA would affect also production and employment in Colombia, but he emphasized then that the country was ready to face the crisis of the international markets (ref. "La crisis financiera ya hace sentir sus coletazos en Colombia", Bogotá, 1rst October 2008, He ensured that the Colombian reserves of 24,000 million dollars were not endangered by the global crisis.

The Colombian financial sector did not receive the same kind of falls of the international economical groups this year, said Zuluaga. The Colombian government launched a plan of economical support for its financial sector that came from a strong crisis in the 1990s. The plan cost to the government 6,000 million dollars and the sector still in its consolidation, said the Minister.
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