Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos appointed the first minister to his new cabinet since being re-elected last month, according to a statement from the President late on Monday.
Colombia’s Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas was the first minister to be confirmed in Santos’ new cabinet, a position he has held since 2012.
“The first minister I will announce is the Minister of Finance [Cardenas], whom I have here on my left, will be confirmed in office,” said Santos on Monday during a press conference in Miami, Florida.
Cardenas thanked the president while affirming, “We are absolutely committed with your mission, of responsible management of the economy with a social emphasis — we want before anything to resolve the problems of the poorest Colombians.”
According to Bloomberg, one of the toughest challenges facing the newly-reappointed minister will be strengthening the value of the Colombian peso, which Cardenas has frequently referred to as “the mother of all problems” for Colombian industry.
The chief economist for Colombia’s biggest bank, Camilo Perez, said, “Despite his [Cardenas] multiple pronouncements on the subject, he hasn’t been able to achieve the exchange rate that the government wants,” according to Bloomberg.
Cardenas’ reappointment comes at a time when Colombia has achieved new records in investment rates through the first quarter of 2014 under his watch.
Two weeks ago, Cardenas put out a statement saying, Colombia’s soaring investment rates have created a situation that should attract foreign investment and entrepreneurs with the creation of more jobs.
Cardenas has held several different ministerial positions going back to the early 1990s, including the minister of economic development under President Cesar Gaviria, minister of transport under President Pastrana, and the minister of mines when Santos came into power before appointing him minister of finance in 2012, according to Colombia’s Vanguardia newspaper.
- El Presidente ratifica en su cargo al Ministro de Hacienda (Office of the Presidency)
- Cardenas to Remain Finance Minister in Next Colombia Government (Bloomberg)
- Los seis retos economicos para la reeleccion de Mauricio Cardenas (Vanguardia)