After participating in a service for the Argentine victims of the terrorist attack in New York, President Mauricio Macri promoted Argentina’s openness to international investment to a group of business leaders.
“We lament that we have to meet under these circumstances, but I am happy that this gives us the chance to reinforce the love and the work we do together,” Macri told Argentine officials who attended an event to remember the victims of the Manhattan bike path attack. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio participated in the event with President Macri.
Though we live 5000 miles apart, Argentina and New York City share the same grief over last week’s terror attack. pic.twitter.com/GGHrydlPOD
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) November 6, 2017
Later, Macri met with CEOs from around the world at Blackrock, an investment firm that manages US $5.7 trillion, an amount that is nine times larger than Argentina’s GDP of US $545 billion. Larry Fink (Blackrock), Andrew Liveris (Dow Chemical), Sue Wagner (Apple), Darío Speranzini (General Electric), Laxman Narasimhan (Pepsi Co), Haisong Jiao (SAFE), and Jorge Pérez (Group of Florida) attended the meeting.
“The visit has happened in a very trying time for Argentina as a result of the death of five compatriots. But it also occurs at a time when the country is changing from the leadership of President Macri,” said Larry Fink, the CEO of Blackrock. “There are opportunities in infrastructure, energy, and other fields.”
“I hope to convince you that Argentina is the best country for your investments,” Macri said. The president affirmed that he has “a lot of confidence” that Argentina will receive new investments from American firms. According to government sources that spoke to La Nación Macri spoke about the growth of the economy, reducing the fiscal deficit, and about the agreements his government is making to advance its reforms.
Mantuvimos una reunión con inversores en la sede de Blackrock pic.twitter.com/TGn5orWfFy
— Mauricio Macri (@mauriciomacri) November 6, 2017
Macri was also accompanied by the governors of Córdoba, Santa Fe, and Entre Rios in New York. “We are three governors of opposite forces who agree on opening up to the world…we do not view globalization as an enemy, we need investments to come and encounter clear laws to invest,” said Juan Schiaretti, the governor of Córdoba.
During the question and answer session, Chinese investors asked about investment in Argentina despite low rankings in international standards. Luis Caputo, the Minister of Finance, responded that he is working with new tools like guarantees from international organizations – such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank – to make such investments viable.
President Macri also met with representatives of Dow who are considering an additional US $300 million investment in Argentina, and with Amazon’s vice president of global infrastructure expansion, Elaine Feeney.
Macri also explained the details of his proposed labor reforms. “We are negotiating with CGT [umbrella union] and hope for agreements in the next three months,” the President said. He also highlighted the advances in biotechnology, the automotive sector, and noted that there was a “grand opportunity” for financial growth. Macri went on to note that Argentina is “100 billion behind Perú in investments [he didn’t clarify whether the sum was in pesos or dollars]” as a result of the country’s “isolation” from investment during the Kirchner years.
On Tuesday, Macri has four key activities; at 1:00 p.m., he will eat lunch at the Council of the Americas where he will receive an award for his “transformative leadership of Argentina”; at 3:00 p.m., he will meet with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg; at 5:30, he will meet Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations. Later, he will meet with American businesses who already have substantial investments in Argentina, followed by an interview with journalist Charlie Rose, and a dinner with Robert Redford.