Bogotá, Colombia, August 28, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with Colombia’s
capital city, Bogotá, to help rehabilitate its road network and build sidewalks
IFC’s $45 million financing is provided through a joint initiative with
the World Bank that supports municipalities in delivering key infrastructure
services, including water, wastewater management, transportation, and electricity
and other local public entities in developing countries, without sovereign
“This transaction, together with others recently executed by the district,
represents further progress in infrastructure investment for the city.
It enables the city to continue diversifying its sources of financing for
major projects. It also helps the city depend less on the central government
for resources and minimizes the number of guarantees and pledges against
revenue that the city must establish to raise the funds it needs,” said
Juan Ricardo Ortega López, Bogotá’s Secretary of Finance.
“The financing is also part of IFC and the World Bank’s strategy to promote
sustainable growth in Colombia by supporting key infrastructure projects,”
said Robert Albisseti, IFC Country Manager. “It will help meet the growing
needs for transportation in a city with more than 7 million residents and
improve access and quality of public services to a larger number of people.
We hope to continue partnering with Bogotá to carry out more projects.”
This is IFC’s second project with the city. IFC recently helped Bogotá
simplify a system for inspecting companies’ environment, health, and safety
planning and fire prevention. This effort helped reduce the number of days
for inspections from 262 to 15, or 95 percent, and consolidated the procedures
into a single process. The new procedures also helped the private sector
save about $41 million, and the city of Bogotá around $4 million.
Bogotá is the first city in South America to contract with IFC for this
type of financing without a guarantee from the central government or any
other source. This attests to the confidence that lenders and domestic
and international investors have in the city. The loan will be repaid over
a period of 17 years, which includes the two-year grace period on the principal.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing
advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's
vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and
improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized
an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance
for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory
services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
IFC’s strategy in Colombia focuses on key sectors that promote the country’s
financial development. These include public-private partnership infrastructure
projects such as bridges, highways, and airports that improve the country’s
competitiveness. IFC also cooperates with leading commercial groups in
Colombia to modernize and expand their activities globally. An important
part of IFC’s strategy in the country is to improve access to finance
for microenterprises and small and medium enterprises, as well as to create
a favorable investment climate. As of March 2008, IFC’s total portfolio
of commitments in the country had reached $828 million.