Colombia’s foreign direct
investment could fall to between $5 billion and $6 billion this
year from more than $10 billion last year due to the global
crisis, the central bank chief said on Monday.
But the country’s economic growth should strengthen in the
second half of this year compared with the first six months as
the economy is helped by policies implemented to counter the
worldwide slump, Jose Dario Uribe said.
“Policies … will mean that very probably the second half
will see growth stronger than the first six months of this
year,” Uribe told a forum on the financial crisis.
Finance Minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga estimated foreign
direct investment could slide as much as 30 percent from last
Colombia recently reported its gross domestic product
shrank 0.7 percent in the last quarter of 2008 while the
government lowered its growth outlook for this year to between
0.5 percent and 1.5 percent from a previous forecast of 3
Colombia last year registered a record $10.56 billion in
foreign direct investment, thanks in part to improved security
under President Alvaro Uribe, who has used billions in U.S. aid
to crack down on leftist rebels and drug traffickers.
The central bank has slashed its benchmark interest rate to
spur growth. But the world economic turmoil has hit consumption
and commodity exports in the Andean country and industrial
production and construction sectors have been hard hit. (Reuters)