Colombia is to seek access to a new credit line from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a one-year precautionary arrangement under the latter's Flexible Credit Line (FCL) policy, the IMF said Tuesday. The Latin American country is requesting for US$10.4 billion, to lift its economy in the face of global recession.

Colombia is the third country to seek the credit line from the IMF. Recently, the lender approved a precautionary credit line of US$47 billion for Mexico, and is due to sanction US$20.5 billion for Poland.

Strauss Khan, Managing Director of IMF, said Colombia showed an excellent track record of maintaining strong economic fundamentals and sound economic policies, as also responding appropriately to the global financial crisis. He said he would quickly seek approval of the FCL arrangement for Columbia.

The FCL is an instrument established in March that is available to Fund member-countries deemed to possess very strong fundamentals, policies and track records of policy- implementation. Access to the FCL is based on the requesting country having already fulfilled these criteria, rather than fulfilling them ex-post performance.

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