The Macri administration is thriving on the momentum from the president’s seemingly successful visit to the United States and, in an attempt to continue changing Argentina’s image before the international community and attract investment to the country, published an sponsored supplement in today’s edition of the Washington Post.
Titled “Argentina Rising,” the first article of the 8-page supplement highlights the measures taken by the government to put an end to the country’s economic decay, which it pins to economic mismanagement carried out by successive governments — not the current administration, of course.
“Argentina is no longer synonymous with prosperity, and instead has seen its reputation damaged by the hyperinflation of 1989-90, the economic meltdown of 2001 and its run on banks, to its headline-grabbing loan default in 2014 with a group of holdout bondholders,” exemplifies the article. However, it also predicts that Macri’s presidency is set to usher better days, at least from the local and international investment outlook.
The article goes on to enumerate what it assures the reader are the measures that the government’s “pro-business investment agenda” took to get the “economy to grow and create jobs in order to reduce poverty.” It highlights the deal reached with the holdout creditors of the country’s defaulted sovereign debt — popularly known here as “vulture funds” — that allowed Argentina to “return the economy to the international bond market.”
Moreover, the article moves on to point out the challenges the ruling Cambiemos coalition currently faces within the political landscape, acknowledging that losing the upcoming mid-term elections would be a significant blow to the administration. A victory would be “a vote of confidence to the long-term goals put in place by the administration,” it indicates.
The article includes quotes of Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña, Vice president Gabriella Michetti and other government officials, who tackle issues such as the administration’s goal of having Argentina become a power player in the world stage, build trades with the U.S. and Asia and become a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
It ends on a high note, with a quote from Macri who, argues that the fact that “a dozen heads of state and heads of government visited Argentina in 2016 shows that the world acknowledges this new period of trust, solidifying institutions and strengthening the rule of law.”
The supplement’s second article tackles the country’s economic situation. Titled “Reforms inject foreign capital into the economy, though challenges remain,” indicates that while “Argentina’s return to the global lending market has injected a shot in the arm into the economy,” the administration still has to tackle major issues such as successfully reducing the budget deficit and inflation.
The message focuses on the goals achieved — again, the deal with the holdout creditors, plus the lifting of currency control [known as cepo] and publishing reliable statistics, in contrast with the previous administration — and the main challenge ahead: “navigate between supporters of rapid change and those worried about the political and social implications of going too fast.”
It goes on to mention the administration’s intention to overhaul the “inefficient and unfair” tax regime and present a new tax proposal in June,” as well as fighting against inflation, developing domestic capital markets, forging trade pacts y boosting foreign investment, among other hurdles. For that, it includes quotes from the Finance and Treasury ministers, Luis Caputo and Nicolás Dujovne, as well as supporting words from private sector leaders, such as HSBC bank president in Argentina, Gabriel Martino.
The third page includes a large infographic on investment within different sectors of the economy, and an article including — also supporting — statements from Pampa Energy Group head, Marcelo Mindlin, and head of IRSA real estate group, Eduardo Elsztain.
The supplement continues with a text about the banking and financial landscape, titled “Banks poised to play a greater role in the new economic era,” before moving on to an article describing the “Belgrano Plan,” presenting it as a “US$ 33 billion dollar plan for transportation and infrastructure until 2019.”
The last two pages go over what the government perceives as a newfound relationship between federal and provincial administration, the intention to solve the country’s energetic crisis — with a special mention to Vaca Muerta — and highlights the country’s touristic attractive. The articles include quotes from Governors María Eugenia Vidal (Buenos Aires Province) Sergio Uñac (San Juan), Domingo Peppo (Chaco) and Hugo Passalacqua (Misiones), as well as the head of state-run oil company YPF Miguel Ángel Gutiérrez and CEO of Panamerican Energy company, Alejandro Bulgheroni. Tourism Minister Gustavo Santos was in charge of explaining why you should spend your next vacation in Argentina.