The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today approved a successor two-year arrangement for Colombia under the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) in an amount equivalent to SDR 3.87 billion (about US$5.45 billion). The Colombian authorities stated their intention to treat the new arrangement as precautionary and do not intend to draw on it.
Following the Executive Board’s discussion on Colombia, Mr. David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chairman of the Board, issued the following statement:
“Colombia has a track record of very strong policy frameworks, including an inflation-targeting regime, a flexible exchange rate, effective financial sector supervision and regulation, and a fiscal policy guided by a structural balance rule. The authorities are firmly committed to maintain such policies and undertake further initiatives to strengthen the resilience of the economy, boost competitiveness, and foster inclusive growth.
“Colombia’s macroeconomic policies have provided flexibility to mitigate the impact of the recent sharp decline in world oil prices. The fiscal rule represents an important buffer against oil price fluctuations, allowing a smooth adjustment of expenditure to a dimmer medium-term oil outlook. The flexible exchange rate regime continues to play an important shock-absorbing role in helping the economy adapt to shifts in global economic and financial conditions, and the banking and corporate sectors remain in good financial health. The central bank has also taken advantage of abundant capital inflows to further build up international reserves.
“However, adverse external risks pose strong headwinds, and, if they materialize, could weaken the country’s external position. Access to the Fund’s FCL will continue to play a significant role in supporting the authorities’ policies in the presence of these downside risks. A successor FCL arrangement, which the authorities intend to continue to treat as precautionary, will provide policy flexibility and serve as a temporary insurance that reinforces market confidence. The authorities intend to phase out the use of the FCL facility as global risks affecting Colombia decrease substantially.”