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Video: Colombia’s Minister of Finance Juan Carlos Echeverry

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Access Minister Echeverry’s presentation (PDF).

Colombian Minister of Finance Juan Carlos Echeverry began by examining the cause of global financial turbulence, currently focused mainly around the euro zone. A lack of responsible management of public finances and debt have led to the current crisis, said the minister, and developing markets have overtaken rich countries’ in terms of GDP growth due to market perception that emerging economies offer safe-havens for capital. Colombia in particular is currently very fashionable among foreign investors and has seen a surge in foreign direct investment.

Using experience and foresight the government of President Juan Manuel Santos is preparing for any possible domestic or international economic hurdles that could lie ahead, said Minister Echeverry. Colombia is an “atypical” country in the global scenario in that it’s reducing its foreign debt and growing its economy. This is achieved by a policy of responsible and active savings by the government, developing an anti-cyclical buffer as commodity exports hit $61 billion this year and mining and energy will grow 14.1 percent this year through next.

“Debt is the difference between what one is and what one thinks he is,” said the minister.