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IFC Helps Develop Web Portal to Improve Business Registration in Colombia

Bogotá, Colombia, May 8, 2008 —Starting today, it will be easier to establish a business in Bogotá, thanks to a new Internet portal
( ) that was developed with the support of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. This online tool will help improve business registration for national and foreign entrepreneurs.
The initiative was spearheaded by Confecámaras, which includes all of the Chambers of Commerce in Colombia and the Chamber of Commerce of Bogota,  with IFC’s support and funding from the Dutch Embassy in Colombia. The project is part of IFC’s efforts to help simplify regulations and improve the investment climate in the country and the wider Latin American region.
In coming weeks, the portal will be introduced in 20 Colombian cities. It will allow entrepreneurs to complete procedures online to establish new businesses or register existing ones, helping save them time and money. The Bogotá Chamber of Commerce will be the portal’s first user.
Entrepreneurs who opt to register offline can complete a form previously approved by the Chamber of Commerce and submit it through the portal, without needing certification from a notary. All users can track the status of their applications as well as review land use regulations free of charge.
The launch of the portal is one of the first objectives to be achieved by a taskforce working to support new businesses in Colombia. The group was established by the government to work on improving key indicators of the Doing Business report, a joint IFC-World Bank initiative that measures how regulation affects the investment climate and that offers guidance for effective reform. The taskforce is led by the National Planning Department and receives advisory services from IFC.
The government has prioritized simplifying the process for opening a business in Colombia. Challenges that lie ahead include simplification of the process for enrollment in the social security system.
About IFC
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 .