The government has announced that it will provide $150 million in loans to help exporters suffering from the recent expiration of trade preferences under the ATPDEA (Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act).
The chairman of Bancoldex, Colombia’s business development bank, told La F.M., “Each company may request up to $5 million. They will be short term loans with favorable terms. For example, if you request a loan on a six-month basis, the interest rate will only be 1.7% per annum.”
In addition to the lowered interest on repayment, businesses will be granted a grace period of one year in which they will not have to begin repay the loan.
A further $100 million will also be available through the Trade Ministry of Commerce. This will encourage companies to increase their productivity through modernization.
The ATPDEA was enacted in August 2002, and is a renewal and amendment of the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) that was created in 1991. It also allows preferential access to the U.S. market for goods from Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
On Thursday U.S. Senator John McCain called for the trade preferences to be renewed, stating that Colombia is an “ally.”