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Meeting between BBVA Chairman & CEO and Colombia’s President
“Colombia is key to BBVA’s growth in Latin America”
- Francisco González reiterated BBVA’s commitment to economic and social advancement in Colombia during a meeting with Juan Manuel Santos
- Over the past 14 years, BBVA has invested $1.3bn in the country and is the financial sector’s leading foreign investor
- The Group is working to provide the population with access to the financial system
The Colombian economy has advanced positively in recent years, enabling it to weather the international financial crisis. “BBVA Research is forecasting growth of over 4% for this year while for 2011 estimates point to growth in excess of 5%. This gives us a favorable environment in which to expand our activities” stated Francisco González. “Today Colombia is better equipped to deal with complex situations. It has a fairly high level of international reserves, has reduced its foreign debt, inflation is in single digits and its financial institutions are now stronger and more independent” he added.
Not only has Colombia enjoyed positive growth in 2009 but its credit rating has also been upgraded and is attracting significant inflows of foreign capital. “We at BBVA believe in the high growth potential of the Colombian economy which has the fundamentals to continue advancing towards progress and prosperity”, underscored Francisco González.
He also acknowledged the country’s positive economic track record thanks to its strong institutions, robust democracy and the orthodox handling of its economy.
The BBVA Group, which is the financial sector’s leading foreign investor there, has a long-standing relationship with the Colombian market, where it has invested nearly $1.3bn over the past 14 years. In this regard, Francisco González reiterated BBVA’s commitment to economic and social advancement in the country, stating “We have faith in the country as an attractive investment destination. The country is propitious for businesses, with clear, stable regulation”.
The BBVA Microfinance Association, in collaboration with the Women’s Banks in Medellín and Bogotá, have set up Bancamía, the country’s leading microfinance bank. This NGO is exclusively dedicated to granting productive loans to micro-business owners.
Furthermore, every year 1% of BBVA’s profit is earmarked for Corporate Social Responsibility activities. These include scholarships, donations of school materials and aid for educational and sporting institutions as well as cultural and humanitarian causes.
Francisco González also mentioned the opportunities for expanding the banking business in Colombia where less than half of the country’s 44 million inhabitants have access to the financial system.
“At BBVA Colombia we are highly committed to giving millions of Colombians access to the financial system and have rolled out various initiatives such as the 107 ‘non-banking branches’ bringing banking services to isolated regions of the country”, added González.