Fri, 29 Jan 2021

BOGOTA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Colombian President Ivan Duque on Saturday urged the public to utilize the year's third and final VAT-free Day to re-energize the country's pandemic-hit economy.

For 24 hours, value-added tax (VAT), which in Colombia is set at 19 percent, will be suspended on all retail sales on Saturday.

"It is a very important day to reactivate our economy and to do it responsibly," said Duque, calling on people to shop for the holidays and avoid crowds, wear face masks and maintain social distancing.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism reported initial results of a more than 30 percent uptick in sales, which are expected to top 5 trillion pesos (1.370 billion U.S. dollars).

The previous VAT-free Days were in June and July respectively.

The National Administrative Department of Statistics reported on Tuesday that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2020 dropped 9 percent year-on-year following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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