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With the goal of 'building a productive economy and an economy for life', the president-elect of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, appointed this Thursday the renowned economist Jose Antonio Ocampo as the new finance minister.

In addition to being in charge of cleaning up Colombia's public finances (very affected by the pandemic and with worrying indicators on issues such as the fiscal deficit), José Antonio Ocampo, as head of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, will be the one who determines, to a large extent, the allocation of resources so that Technology, Innovation and Science play a central role in the country's economic growth.

At this point it is important to note that chapter 2 of the Gustavo Petro's government program Titled 'From an extractivist economy to a productive economy', it includes topics such as the 'democratization of virtual space', which is nothing more than the use of the Internet to generate economic development.

"The virtual space is a new scenario where social exchanges of all kinds circulate and take place, including commerce and knowledge. Improving the connectivity of the population throughout the country is a precondition for the generation of wealth and well-being”, reads in the government program of the Historical Pact.

In addition, in chapter 1 'Colombia, economy for life', Gustavo Petro proposes a transition to clean energy, thus eliminating dependence on fossil fuels, which also represents an important challenge in terms of public finances for the new Minister of Finance .

Who is Jose Antonio Ocampo? 

Personal information:

He was born in Cali, Valle del Cauca, on December 20, 1952.

Academic training:

Career path:

  • Minister of Finance and Director of the National Planning Department during the government of Ernesto Samper.
  • Minister of Agriculture during the government of César Gaviria.
  • Co-director of the Banco de la República, during the government of Juan Manuel Santos.
  • Between 1998 and 2003 he was executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
  • Until 2007 he was assistant secretary general for economic and social affairs of the United Nations Organization (UN).
  • He is a member of the Independent Commission for the International Reform of Corporate Taxation (ICRICT).
  • Director of the Foundation for Higher Education and Development (Fedevelopment).
  • Columnist for important media such as the newspaper El Tiempo.

It is important to note that, after the announcement of the appointment of José Antonio Ocampo as the new Minister of Finance, various economic sectors expressed their approval for being one of the most respected economists in the country.

Bruce Mac Master, president of the National Association of Entrepreneurs of Colombia (ANDI), wrote:

Photo: Ryan Rayburn (via Flickr)