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Argentina: Open For Business

Argentina's reformes will enable more shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

Argentina: Open For Business

For fifteen years, Argentina bided its time, waiting for the right moment to take its place in the international economy. But last month Argentina announced that it was open to the world and international investors responded by rushing across the threshold.

The Argentina Business and Investment Forum (ABIF) was a three-day event that drew over 2,000 companies and 400 government representatives from 65 countries to Argentina for the first time.
Argentina set the stage for new investments by striking a deal with U.S. creditors, returning the country to the global bond markets for the first time since 2001. The government is breaking from the past by reducing the corruption that held the country back, rolling back restrictions on buying U.S. dollars and reducing taxes on exports.

The reforms led to the government selling $16.5 billion in bonds, a record amount for an emerging-market sovereign government. Opening the national cash register made it possible for Argentine corporations to sell debt to foreign creditors.

As WPP CEO Martin Sorrell put it, “Argentina is back open for business.”

Excited international suitors have anted up to the tune of more than $4 billion in international debt so far. ABIF saw even greater commitments from global corporations. The high attendance at ABIF highlighted the range of investment opportunities offered in Argentina, including in sectors such as agribusiness, biotechnology, and energy, among others.

Bob Dudley, CEO of BP was there, and now he’s looking to increase investments in Argentina after witnessing the tremendous change taking place in 2016. “I’m really encouraged by what I hear and what I see [in Argentina]. I think there’s a great future here… I’m excited about it,” said Dudley.

Joe Kaeser, CEO of German industrial conglomerate Siemens, signed a letter of intent to participate in up to $5.6 billion of energy, transportation and infrastructure projects in Argentina. “We will help the country to bring it to the level it belongs to,” said Kaeser. Siemens’ investment is looking to add 3,000 jobs, including training 700 young people in new skills.

More than only financial investment, ABIF is about “countries coming together,” Kaeser said. “I’m a happy man today because we can help rebuild the country.”

ABIF was the platform that allowed the for the Undersecretariat for Investment Development and Trade Promotion to meet with global companies big and small chart a course to working within Argentina, such as providing information on business sectors and geographical locations, identifying investment opportunities, delivering personalized assistance at every project stage, and assisting in building partnerships between international investors and local companies.

ABIF marked Argentina’s return to the world of business. This was my country’s opportunity to show the world, local and international companies that Argentina is committed to transparency and a clear path forward for investors.

This is a time of enormous enthusiasm, of historic transformation in the world,” said Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña. He sees Argentina’s economic rebirth as an inspiration to other countries in its forward-looking enthusiasm for the country’s possibilities. “This gives us great opportunities to face global challenges that previously seemed so distant,” said Peña.

“It reminds me of engines just starting up,” said BP’s Dudley.

With its past in the rear view mirror, Argentina is ready to drive into the future.

Juan Procaccini is president of Argentina’s Investment and Trade Promotion Agency.

Argentina is trying to promote investment and more shipments of export cargo and import cargo in international trade.

Argentina’s Path to Recovery will be Global

Argentina has opened its doors again to international investors and is making a successful return to global markets.

Against a backdrop of increasing uncertainty in the once safe-havens of wealthy nations, investors everywhere are searching for growth. This makes Argentina’s re-entry onto the global stage an opportunity already gaining traction and recognition.

Recently, Argentina was able to successfully issue a $16.5 billion bond– the largest ever for an emerging market. In fact, demand was so strong by the international investment community that the size of the deal was increased at a lower yield.

This new confidence stems from a range of policies introduced by President Mauricio Macri: the removal of capital controls and repatriation restrictions, the cutting of export taxes, and free floating exchange rates.

This new direction is just the start of an economic turnaround in Argentina which aims to provide inclusive national growth through more international trade, investment and, crucially, closer cooperation with the global community – given that improving political stability and fiscal credibility unlock opportunities for international investment.

To showcase these exciting new opportunities to the world, Buenos Aires will host over 1500 global businessmen, investors and political leaders at the Argentina Business & Investment Forum from September 12 to 15, 2016.

Confirmed speakers already include leading figures from global business and finance including; Bob Dudley, Group Chief Executive of BP; Maurice Raymond ‘Hank’ Greenberg, CEO of C.V. Starr & Co.; Donna Hrinak, President, Latin America of Boeing; Joe Kaeser CEO of Siemens; Muhtar Kent, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company; Miguel Kozuszok, President, Latin America of Unilever; Andrew Liveris, Chairman & CEO of Dow Chemical, Peter Orszag; Vice Chairman of Lazard; and Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP.

The Argentina Forum will put the country back on the global investment map and highlight billions of dollars’ worth of valuable opportunities. Right now in Argentina there are up to $20bnof investment opportunities for hydro/thermal power plants and a further US$15bnfor 10GW of renewable energy projects. We have also identified up to $20bn for oil & gas fields and infrastructure, and $25nn for roads and highways and $15bn for 10,000 km of railway freight lines.

Argentina is built on strong economic fundamentals providing the framework for these new opportunities. Our workforce is young, educated and dynamic, with increasingly strong purchasing power. Approximately 60 percent of our 41 million strong population is under 35 years old, and we are the third largest economy in Latin America after Brazil and Mexico, with the second highest GDP per capita in the region in purchasing power parity terms.

The Argentina Business & Investment Forum will show the world that we are open for business again. Most importantly, it will rebuild trust between Argentina and the global investment community. Rebuilding this trust will both help us build roads, train lines, houses, and a brighter future for Argentina – and provide greater opportunity for both the region and investors.

Juan Procaccini is president of the Argentina Investment and Trade Promotion Agency.