Successful business leaders despite the country’s socio-political noise.
Marches, demonstrations in the streets, unexpected or scheduled strikes, negative articles in national newspapers, complaints from the vast majority of the middle class and inflation that currently exceeds 22 percent (which differs by a wide margin from official statistics). This is the first image many see of Argentina. But the macroeconomic figures show a different country. Argentina has grown from an average of 0.6 percent in the 1990s during the conversion of the peso to the dollar to an average of 7.6 percent between 2003 and 2010. Its foreign debt dropped from $105.8 billion, or 163.2 percent of GDP in 2003, to $55 billion or 38.4 percent of GDP in 2009, and international reserves grew during that same period from $10.4 billion to $46.3 billion. With low unemployment, which peaked at 22.4 percent in 2002 and closed at 7.7 percent in 2010 with a projected continued decrease for 2011, Argentina also has the best GDP per capita in Latin America at $15,852 compared to a regional average of $11,236. How can these two realities co-exist? Is the situation in Argentina so bad? Is investment really possible? Three successful private Argentine investors from different economic sectors, who have their own companies and built their fortunes here, introduce Argentina to foreign investors and tell them just what can really be done in this county.
About the Author: Joachim Bamrud is the executive editor of the Latin Trade Group and a former editor-in-chief of Latin Business Chronicle and Latin Trade magazine.