San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Tico Economist Named Personality of the Year

CALLED the “Alan Greenspan ofCosta Rica,” Eduardo Lizano has beennamed Personality of the Year in LatinAmerica by the London-based newspaper,The Financial Times.The honor comes for Lizano’s “drivingforce” role in transforming Costa Rica’seconomy into one attractive to investorsand making the country one of the mostattractive in Latin America for foreign directinvestment, according to the magazine.“During his leadership of the CentralBank over four presidential terms, excessivelyinterventionist measures gave wayto emphasis on indirect instruments, solocal banks were able to develop into truebanking institutions. The banks were freeto choose the composition of their portfoliosand a more market-oriented determinationof interest rates developed,” thenewspaper reported.Lizano was a leader in promoting andnegotiating reforms to allow exporters tohave at their disposal a larger portion oftheir foreign currency, to reverse thecountry’s anti-exporting policies, and toincrease free movement of capital flows,according the magazine.His efforts also led to an agreementwith international commercial banks thatlet the country renegotiate its externaldebt to adjust the amount of resourcesallocated to servicing and paying the debt.Lizano, a former professor at theUniversity of Costa Rica, is now presidentof the Costa Rica-based think tankAcademia de Centroamérica.

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