Press Releases

World Bank, IFC, Colombia Promote Improved Business Environment across Latin America

In Bogota, Colombia:
Clara Ugarte Perrin, IFC

Phone : (511) 611-2501

E-mail :

Bogota, Colombia, December 1, 2011—The World Bank, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism today launched an international conference in Bogotá, Colombia to share best practices and promote greater investment climate reform across Latin America.

The conference—Doing Business in Latin America: Sharing Experiences of Reform—focuses mainly on the areas of new firm start-up, international trade, access to credit, and commercial dispute settlement, reflecting some of the indicators in the annual Doing Business report.

Doing Business, a World Bank and IFC report first launched in 2003, assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 183 economies in 10 areas of business regulations. Its findings have stimulated policy debates in more than 80 economies.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos opened the two-day conference, which brought together delegations from Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. Participants included government officials and private sector representatives from Latin American countries that recently have  pursued successful investment climate reform programs.

Sergio Diaz, Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourism of Colombia, said  the conference is the first step in the new reform plan being implemented to advance the country’s competitiveness agenda, and continue advancing positions in the World Bank’s Doing Business report. "Colombia has taken important steps in this direction," Diaz said, "Of 183 countries, we went from 47th to 42nd place in 2012. We are working very hard to add efforts and prioritize  indicators to benefit  micro, small, and medium enterprises so they can have a better business environment."

Janamitra Devan, Vice President, Financial and Private Sector Development, World Bank Group, said: “We are delighted to come together today with policymakers from across Latin America to help them learn from one another’s experiences in fostering opportunities for  entrepreneurs. Improving the investment climate for businesses—especially small and midsize enterprises—continues to be a top priority. Strengthening the environment for private-sector investment remains the surest way to spur job creation and inspire sustainable economic growth.”

The World Bank and IFC will reconvene participants in about six months through a webinar to monitor progress in reform programs and encourage bilateral technical assistance between participant countries.

About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit,, and

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit

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