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Colombia needs to win the peace

Colombia will elect a new president in the first half of next year and, if the urgency to address the country’s financial position wasn’t already clear enough, the country’s December downgrade by Standard & Poor’s to one notch above junk throws the need for fiscal reform into sharp relief.

Colombia's president Juan Manuel Santos speaks in Bogota in November at the
first-anniversary celebrations of the peace signing

Should Colombia not take action to shore up its weakening public accounts, it would place its investment grade rating in jeopardy in doubt and risk the country becoming the only member of the Pacific Alliance to have this status.

When downgrading the country, Standard & Poor’s specifically highlighted Colombia’s “diminished policy flexibility” due to “weakened fiscal and external profiles”, as well as its climbing external debt.

The country has long struggled to widen its tax base.

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