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  • Former ECLAC Secretary to Become Colombia's Finance Minister

    Former ECLAC Secretary to Become Colombia's Finance Minister

    On Thursday, Colombia's President-elect Gustavo Petro announced that his Finance Minister will be Jose Antonio Ocampo, a 69-year-old economist who is currently a professor at Columbia University.


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    "Jose Antonio Ocampo will be our Minister of Finance. Build a productive economy and an economy for life," Petro tweeted.

    Ocampo is a prestigious economist with extensive experience in Colombian public life and in international organizations. Since before Petro's election on June 19, his name sounded like the most likely candidate to occupy the finance ministry.

    "I congratulate Gustavo Petro and Francia Marquez for their electoral victory. We hope and we must support the national agreement that they have proposed. It is essential to overcome the deep social and regional divisions that have been shown in recent years and in this electoral process", Ocampo said after the presidential elections.

    After studying at the University of Notre Dame, Ocampo began his public life as agriculture minister in 1993 during the presidency of Cesar Gaviria (1990-1994). Later, he became director of the National Planning Department and finance minister during the administration of Ernesto Samper (1994-1998).

    Later, from 1998 to 2003, Ocampo was secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and until mid-2007 he was Deputy Secretary of the United Nations for Economic and Social Affairs. In recent years Ocampo was co-director of the Colombian Central Bank.

    On Saturday, Petro also announced that the Foreign Affairs Ministry will be headed by Alvaro Leyva Duran, an economist and lawyer who was involved in the 2016 Peace Agreement reached between the State and the  Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

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