Nicolas Dujovne and Rodrigo Valdés

The International Monetary Fund named the Chilean economist Rodrigo Valdes and former Minister of Finance of Michelle Bachelet as the new director of the Western Hemisphere Department, the area of ​​the organization that will directly oversee the current program with Argentina.

“The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgievatoday announced its intention to appoint Mr. Rodrigo Valdes Director of the Western Hemisphere Department (WHD). On May 1, 2023, Mr. Valdés will take over as head of the IMF’s department responsible for relations with member countries in the Americas. He will succeed in his duties Ilan Goldfjnwho left the IMF to become the seventh president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB),” the IMF said in a statement.

Rodrigo Valdes, new IMF regional director
Rodrigo Valdes, new IMF regional director

He is the second Chilean-born economist to hold this post, after Nicolas Eyzaguirre, Minister of Finance in the Government of Ricardo Lagoswho had to deal with the government of Cristina Kirchner.

Valdés is professor of economics at the School of Government of the Catholic University of Chile. Previously, he was Minister of Finance of Chile from 2015 to 2017. In addition, he worked for more than 16 years in the public sector of his country, holding various management positions in the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Chile , where he served as Director of the Research Division and Principal Economist responsible for preparing the Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Report and overseeing macroeconomic analysis.

He also had an exceptional career in the Chilean banking sector, detailed the Fund: “At BTG Pactual, he led the macroeconomic research team for Latin America (except Brazil), and served as Chairman of the Board of administration and executive committee of BancoEstado, the only Chilean state bank.He also worked at Barclays Capital in New York as Director and Chief Economist for Latin America.

Ilan Goldfjan quits IMF to lead IDB Reuters
Ilan Goldfjan quits IMF to lead IDB Reuters

“Rodrigo has significant experience in the public and private sectors and is highly respected for his leadership skills and academic credentials. His brilliant background as a policy maker, his remarkable analytical and communication skills and his in-depth knowledge of international finance and the IMF will be invaluable to our member countries at this critical time for the region and the global community,” said Georgiava.

Valdés holds a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chile. He is a prolific author, whose economic studies have been published in international journals and books. He has also worked as editor of various publications and has received numerous academic and influential public policy awards in Latin America and the United States, including “Most Influential Economist of the Year” awarded by a major Chilean newspaper.

The IMF is expected to approve the last quarter 2022 revision of the program with Argentina to transfer $5.4 billion this month; the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, obtained a significant easing of the annual Central Bank reserve target planned for this year, given the difficulties generated by the severe drought and the war in Ukraine, which the Palace of Finance estimated at 5,000 million dollars. It is still not known what the reduction of the reserve scheme, one of the 3 pillars of the agreement with the Fund with the deficit of the primary sector and with the help of the BCRA to the Treasury, will be.

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