Cardenas is a new entry this year
Mauricio Cardenas is the architect of Colombia's latest tax
reform, which is set to be enacted during 2016.
The 53 year old, who worked as minister of mines and energy
for a year before becoming Colombia's minister of finance and
public credit in 2012, and also briefly held the
business-friendly minister of economic development role in the
1990s, announced Colombia's intention to undergo a "structural
reform" of its tax system late last year.
The government worked with an expert commission to produce a
report on the necessary elements of the reform.
"With those elements, with that input, we will create a
dialogue with all the involved sectors and be able to present a
structural tax reform law in March of next year ," said
Cardenas on November 9.
Crude oil is by some distance Colombia's largest export, and
the South American country has been hit hard by low prices
– which show no signs of recovering as we begin 2016.
This also affects the country's ability to exchange foreign
currencies. Before beginning to fall in 2013, the Colombian
peso had been one of the best-performing currencies in the
developing world, rising 65% in value in the previous
The country's need for tax reform is therefore urgent, and
it is hoped that the reform will make up for an expected $9
billion in lost revenue by 2020.
Cardenas says that the upcoming reforms are about broadening
and shoring up the tax base, with a focus on "making sure our
tax system deals in a more effective way with tax evasion,
widens the tax base… so that it's not just a few
corporations and individuals that take most of the tax
Through his chairmanship of the Intergovernmental Group of
Twenty Four on International Monetary Affairs and Development,
Cardenas further exerted his influence in 2015 by helping to
coordinate the position of developing countries on
international monetary issues and forge a stronger, more vocal
presence for developing countries during international