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Cablegate: Introducing Minister of Finance Fernando Zavala

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS LIMA 003594

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR E, WHA/FO, WHA/AND, WHA/EPSC, INL/B
TREASURY FOR OASIA/INL
COMMERCE FOR 4331/MAC/WH/MCAMERON
USDA FOR FAS/ITP/GRUNENDFELDER

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EFIN PGOV PREL PE ENIV
SUBJECT: INTRODUCING MINISTER OF FINANCE FERNANDO ZAVALA


1. (SBU) Summary. On August 16, President Toledo appointed
former Vice Minister of Economy Fernando Zavala Lombardi to
replace Pedro Pablo Kuczynski as the Minister of Economy and
Finance. Zavala, prior to his position as Vice Minister,
served as General Manager of Indecopi (Peru's IPR
Administrator) from 1995-2000. The business community
welcomed Zavala's appointment, noting that he has
effectively worked to resolve contentious disputes between
the various agencies of the GOP and businesses. End
Summary.

Biographical Information
------------------------

2. (U) Fernando Zavala Lombardi was named the new Minister
of Economy and Finance (MEF) on August 16, replacing Pedro
Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) who became the new Prime Minister.
Zavala, a trained economist, holds a bachelor's degree in
Economics from Pacific University in Lima, as well as two
Master's degrees - one in International Business from the
University of Birmingham, U.K. and the other in Business
Administration from Piura University.

3. (U) Prior to working as Vice Minister of Economy, Zavala
served as General Manager of Indecopi, Peru's IPR
administrator from 2000-2002. He has a prior history in
economic and financial research, having worked as Chief of
Finance at Apoyo S.A., a highly respected consulting firm
based in Lima. Zavala also worked in the private sector, as
the Chief of Sales at Samtronics Peru in 1994-1995.

4. (SBU) Zavala has very close ties with the business
community and has served as a board member for several
Peruvian corporations, including CONFIDE (Corporation for
Development Financing), the Commission of National
Administration, and Inca Publicity. Zavala is also an
excellent contact of the Embassy and has worked closely with
us on several commercial disputes, most notably Exxon-Mobil
(reftel). He was instrumental in formulating a strategy
with Exxon-Mobil, helping the company and the Mining Society
draft an amendment to the tax law, as well as aiding in
garnering support among the members of Congress. Zavala
continues to work with Exxon-Mobil, and other U.S.
companies, to deal with commercial issues.

5. (SBU) Zavala, who is 38 years old, is married with two
children and speaks good English.

The Business Community Reacts
-----------------------------

6. (SBU) Toledo's naming of Zavala yielded strong support
from the business community. Luis Vega, President of Adex
(Association of Exporters) and excellent contact of the
Embassy, noted that Zavala, a highly skilled economist,
understands the need for Peru to improve its investment
climate, develop employment opportunities, and reduce
poverty. He expects that Zavala will continue PPK's
economic policies, maintaining continuity in the economy,
which is vital to continued growth.

Comment
-------


7. (SBU) We believe that Fernando Zavala is an excellent
choice for Minister of Economy and Finance. We have had a
strong working relationship with him over the past five
years during his tenure as Vice Minister and GM of Indecopi.
Most recently, he played a vital role in several commercial
disputes, offering advice to U.S. companies and working
toward resolutions. Zavala understands the intricacies of
Peru's tax and tariff laws, and will likely play a role in
ensuring these laws are properly applied.

STRUBLE

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