Rodrigo Bolaños, who presided over the Central Bank in the mid-1990s, steps back into the same role at a time when inflation is at an all time low and the colón is experiencing wide fluctuations in its value compared to the United States dollar.
Bolaños will inherit the recession, one that economists say has already bottomed out and is slowly climbing toward recovery. And he will assume the challenge President-elect Laura Chinchilla issued on election night – for Costa Rica to become the first developed country in Latin America.
“The improved confidence of buyers and sellers in the international community will contribute to the improvement of the financial status (of the country) and the expansion of spending,” said current Central Bank President Francisco de Paula Gutiérrez, in a February speech in which he outlined his predictions for 2010 (TT, March 5). He will step down for personal reasons after seven years at the helm of the Central Bank.
Bolaños, who most recently worked as a partner at the firm Ecoanálisis and president of the Latin American Reserve Fund (FLAR), served as presidency minister (1977), finance minister (1977-1978 and 1982-1984), consultant to the International Development Bank (1991-1992, 1999, 2004-2005) and as the country´s comptroller (2001-2002), among other posts.
The 59-nine-year-old is Chinchilla´s 9th appointment since she was elected to the presidency on Feb. 7. This week, she named new finance, agriculture, commerce, foreign trade, transportation and tourism ministers.