Marcelo Montenegro of Bolivia, named Finance Minister of the Year 2023 for the Americas. The Banker’s Finance Minister of the Year 2023 awards celebrate the international officials that have best managed to stimulate growth and stabilize their economy.
The international magazine The Banker, a member of the London Financial Times Publishing Group, named Bolivia’s Marcelo Montenegro as Finance Minister of the Year for the Americas region.
“We salute our minister, Marcelo Montenegro, selected by the international press, The Banker, as Finance Minister of the Year for the Americas. The eyes of the world once again center on Bolivia, thanks the successful Modelo Economico Social Comunitario Productivo,” said President of Bolivia, Luis Arce in a tweet.
The designation was given as Bolivia maintained low and controlled inflation, reduced poverty and showed a faster economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, measures applied within the framework of the Modelo Económico Social Comunitario Productivo.
Modelo Económico Social Comunitario Productivo
The economic model has three axis: Social, Communal and Productive. It has been implemented in the Plurinational State of Bolivia since 2006, when it was put into practice by the administration of President Evo Morales.
It aims to:
- Generate productive transformation
- Modify the primary export model
- Distribute wealth more equitably
These steps are accomplished by transferring surpluses from potential surplus-creating sectors, such as:
- electric power
- environmental resources
Moving them to sectors where it is necessary to lay the fundamental foundations of a productive country:
- manufacturing sector
- agricultural development
State Assumes Role of Redistributor
In this model proposal, the State assumes the role of redistributor, with the ability to transfer resources from surplus sectors to generators of employment and income. In other words, what is sought is to free Bolivia from dependence on the export of raw materials in order to abandon the primary export model and build a productive Bolivia with economic sovereignty.
The social, community and productive model is a model that is based on the success of the state administration of natural resources. This model is applied to the Bolivian economy, and its success is tied to the way in which natural resources are managed.
The Economic Model is Social
The model is considered social because it promotes and executes policies for the adequate distribution and redistribution of wealth and economic surpluses. The strategy aims to reduce and then eradicate extreme and moderate poverty, and promote economic and social inclusion of populations subjected to marginality, since the founding of the Bolivian Republic or long before.
This procedure is executed within the framework of respect for individual rights, as well as the rights of the original indigenous peoples and nations. The redistribution of the surplus in social programs such as social bonds, whose objectives have scope beyond the simple distribution of monetary amounts. For example, the Juancito Pinto Voucher is achieving a substantial reduction in school dropouts, the Juana Azurduy Voucher, is achieving the decrease in maternal and child mortality.
The Economic Model is Communal
It is communal because it seeks to complement individual interest with collective living, articulating the different forms of economic organization on the principles of complementarity, reciprocity, solidarity, redistribution, equality, sustainability, balance, justice, transparency and respect for Mother Earth. These principles are mandates of the Political Constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.
The Economic Model is Productive
It is productive because it promotes the expansion and diversification of the productive matrix, with the aim of overcoming the primary export model and achieving a basic productive economy with increases in added value fostering the industrialization of our natural resources, and contributing to the strengthening of the economic sovereignty of the country.
In the production of the agricultural sector, the need to guarantee food security and sovereignty arises with the production of natural and ecological foods.
The economic model of the Plurinational State of Bolivia has been consolidating since 2006.
The Banker’s Analysis
“The economy contracted by 8.7% in 2020 but expanded 6.1% the following year. Higher global commodity prices have boosted export receipts, helping to raise the current account to a surplus of 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021. The strengthening of the Bolivian peso and protecting domestic consumption based on subsidies and price controls have supported the country’s economy,” stated The Banker.
An increase in private consumption, investment and government consumption pointed to a “GDP growth of around 5.1% expected for the end of 2022,” according to The Banker. “The government had previously predicted a similar growth percentage for 2023, but revised its forecast to 4.8%,” wrote The Banker.
The Banker is an international financial affairs publication owned by The Financial Times Ltd. and edited in London. It makes annual awards worldwide, recognizing banks, central bank presidents and finance ministers for their performance in each management. The Banker’s coverage combines in-depth regional and country coverage with reports on markets, banking, regulation and risk, transactions and technology and Data, including international financial centers, trends and rankings, including the Top 1000 World Banks. Its database of more than 5000 banks, maps their financial strength and soundness via Tier 1 capital, their profitability, and their performance versus their peers.
Other Global Award Recipients
Also receiving the award were Vera Daves de Sousa, Minister of Finance of Angola, Africa region; Christos Staikouras, from Greece, Europe region; Arkhom Tarmpittayapaisith, from Thailand, Asia-Pacific region, while Minister Montenegro was awarded for the Americas region.
First Time Award for Bolivia
It is the first time that this award is given to a Bolivian authority. Among some of the winners in previous years are Felipe Larrain, from Chile, Mauricio Cárdenas, from Colombia, and Azucena Arbeleche, from Uruguay.
Bolivia’s Inflation, Lowest Indicator in South America
As of November 2022, La Razon reports that Bolivia registered inflation of 3.0%, the lowest indicator in South America, Ecuador with 3.6%, Brazil 5.1%. Among the countries above double digits is Colombia with 11.7%, Chile with 12.5%, Argentina 85.3% and Venezuela with 119.4%.
Minister of Economy and Public Finance, Marcelo Montenegro Gómez García, is an economist and has a master’s degree in Applied Economics from the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar. He was president of the Board of Directors of Banco de Desarrollo Productivo Sociedad Anónima Mixta – BDP S.A.M.
In 2018 he was appointed director of the Institute of Economic Research (IIE) of the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA). He worked as a professor at the Bolivian Private University (UPB), the Aquino University of Bolivia, the Mayor University of San Andrés (UMSA) and the Military School of Engineering (EMI)..
Likewise, he served as International Technical Advisor (ATI) EURECNA (Italy) European Union, director of the Fiscal Analysis Network – Ministry of Economy, general director of State Companies and general advisor of the Financial System Supervisory Authority (ASFI).
In addition, he held public positions in entities such as the Vice Ministry of State Strategic Planning of the Ministry of Development Planning and the Vice Ministry of Tax Policy of the Ministry of Economy and Public Finance.
On Receiving the Award
“I am honored to receive this award. It is recognition of the excellent work that has been done in the design and implementation of economic policies in Bolivia,” Montenegro told The Banker.
He explained that this achievement in the Bolivian economy is due to the policies applied, which have made the economy more resistant to external shocks and improved income redistribution.
Since his appointment in November 2020, Marcelo Montenegro, Minister of the Economy and Public Finance, has focused on restoring the Economic Model to rebuild the economy.
“In our economic model, domestic demand is the main growth driver.”
Marcelo Montenegro, Minister of Economy for Bolivia
To learn more about the international award visit:
To learn more about Bolivia’s Economic Model visit:
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