Zavala next PM?
10 July 2016
As the PSG Newsletter went to press, it seemed certain that president-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski would appoint Fernando Zavala as president of the Council of Ministers. A formal announcement was expected later on 10 July. A full list of new ministers was likely to be published over the next few days. Some, indeed, have already been announced, such as Alfredo Thorne, the new minister of economy and finance.
Zavala’s appointment would reinforce the new government’s pro-business and technocratic image. He comes with strong links to Lima’s business elite, as well as being a personal confidant of Kuczynski.
He was a student in economics at the Universidad del Pacífico in Lima and gained a masters in business administration (MBA) at the University of Birmingham. He worked for several years at the Apoyo SA business consultancy in Lima, an important opinion former through its Semana Económica magazine and link between the worlds of business and government.
During the Fujimori government (1990-2000) Zavala worked in Indecopi, the entity set up by the government to protect intellectual property and consumer interests. When Kuczynski was named by President Alejandro Toledo (2001-06) as finance minister, Zavala became the vice-minister in the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF). In 2005, when Kuczynski became prime minister, Zavala replaced him as finance minister.
In 2006, Zavala shifted his ground back into the private sector, and became vice-president for strategy and corporate relations at Backus and Johnston, the US-owned brewery (SAB Miller) and number one in the profitable Peruvian beer market. Having spent a while as president of SAB Miller’s Cerveceria Nacional in Panama, he returned to Lima in 2013 as president of Backus and Johnston.
Zavala is also a board member at a number of top private sector firms in Peru, including Interbank, Inmobiliaria IDE, Cervecería San Juan, Banco Falabella and Enersur.