News Brief: President of Colombia Meets IMF Acting Managing Director

April 11, 2000

The President of Colombia, Andres Pastrana, and his Minister of Finance, Juan Camilo Restrepo, met today in Washington with the Acting Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Stanley Fischer, and with the Director of the Western Hemisphere Department, Claudio Loser. They discussed the progress of the Colombian Economic Program, supported by the Extended Fund Facility that was approved last December. They also discussed the implications of the decision of the Colombian Government to submit to Congress a Referendum Bill directed to deal with corruption practices and improve public administration efficiency.

The Government of Colombia and Management of the IMF expressed satisfaction at the evolution of the Colombian economy which has begun to recover, in line with the program, following the economic contraction in 1999. The current signs of economic recovery, together with continued strong fiscal and credit policies, will facilitate the attainment of the program targets in the remainder of 2000. The President of Colombia reiterated that the structural reform package is essential for the restoration of sustained growth of output and employment, and will be at the forefront of the government's priorities-an intention that is viewed positively by IMF Management. He reassured the IMF that in the event that due to the Referendum, congressional approval of the reforms is delayed, the Government will present the reforms to the new Congress and will take alternative measures as needed, to ensure that the program objectives are fully met.


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