Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos brings together his future ministers to discuss the transition of power and to appoint key personnel.
The main topic on the agenda, according to Caracol Radio, is to discuss various projects to strengthen the state’s institutions. Santos and his twelve ministers are discussing health care reform, a bill to increase graduate employment, the creation of 2.5 million jobs, and the government’s aims for the first 100 days in power.
The president-elect nominated Tomas Gonzalez to be deputy minister for mining and energy. Gonzalez holds a PhD in economics from the university of London. Previously, he has worked with B.P. Colombia and as an adviser to the Colombian presidency.
In addition, Santos appointed Maria Claudia Lacouture to be the president of Proexport, a state body which promotes and advises exporters of Colombian goods. Lacouture, an expert in finance and international relations, was director of Proexport’s office in the U.S.
The president-elect also announced that Santiago Rojas would take over Bancoldex, a state-owned company which provides financial services to Colombian exporters. Rojas, a lawyer, was a member of the team that Alvaro Uribe appointed to negotiate trade deals with the U.S. His other former posts include director general of the Colombian customs and tax agency (DIAN), commercial consultant to the Colombian trade mission to the World Trade Organization and deputy minister for external trade.
The meeting of the future cabinet began at 9AM Tuesday in the Anapoima municipality in the central department of Cundinamarca. It is due to close at 1PM Wednesday.
The new administration comes into power on August 7, when Santos is inaugurated as Colombia’s president.