Interview: Mauricio Macri
To what extent will new economic reforms bolster foreign direct investment (FDI) in Argentina?
MAURICIO MACRI: Our main objective is to completely eradicate poverty. The state must help those in the greatest need and the only sustainable way to do this is through job creation. We must generate trust so we can attract local and international investment, from both large and small companies, but also from the government – mainly in the infrastructure sector. In this respect, we have inherited a complicated legacy. In the last five years the economy has not created jobs and we continue to suffer from high inflation. With the measures we are taking and the trust we are progressively generating, inflation is decreasing, some sectors are experiencing growth and, above all, we are starting to witness an increase in FDI.
However, it must also be said that we are moving rapidly forward with the restructuring of our economy. We have eliminated currency exchange controls and stabilised the exchange rate; we put an end to default; we normalised the role of the National Institute of Statistics and Census; and prohibited the withholding of information. We believe that trust, employment generation, and investment collectively form the approach towards inclusive economic expansion and greater opportunities for Argentines.
How can governments and companies collaborate to achieve positive political and economic outcomes for all countries in the region?
MACRI: The main challenge is to guarantee environmentally sustainable, society-focused and prolonged economic growth capable of bringing every family in the region a better quality of life and more opportunities. Public-private partnerships are a key part of this wider policy. We have to work together to prioritise key issues in the economy such as infrastructure, innovation and the provision of quality public services. It is equally important not only to prioritise improvements in key statistics, but to create more opportunities for Latin Americans, and offer them a comfortable and peaceful lifestyle. It is also crucial to highlight the importance of human development, maintaining peace within our nation states, fighting drug trafficking and insecurity, and tackling global warming.
How can regional integration through the Pacific Alliance further enhance commercial relationships among its current members?
MACRI: Regional integration in Latin America is key for wider development opportunities in all of our nations. We must understand that together our countries are stronger, and if we collaborate with our collective strengths, talents and resources, we can grow faster. Therefore, Mercosur must be brought into the 21st century to become more compatible with the Pacific Alliance. This should be an integration based on cooperation and mutual respect that will strengthen the growth of our economies and bring more opportunities to all Latin Americans across the region.
What areas of cooperation between Peru and Argentina need strengthening?
MACRI: Peru is a crucial partner for Argentina with whom we want to boost new initiatives that will improve economic and commercial development in our countries. Both have recently elected new governments willing to drive forward a common agenda. In line with our efforts to merge certain issues between the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur, we are looking to strengthen Customs cooperation, company participation and mutual commercial agreements in our respective economies. We should work together, incentivising cooperation between both the public and private sector with substantial investments that will add value and generate significant employment. We should also build on our existing collaboration to ensure our two economies are more complementary.
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