If President Macri’s 2017 travel agenda was a New Year’s resolution, it would be to forge new partnerships and strengthen existing ties, like Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance. Lofty resolutions are hard to accomplish and require smaller, progressive steps to achieve the end game. Wisely so, Macri’s travel plan will begin with more certain markets, like Spain and Holland, then branch out, making stops in China, Japan, and hopefully the United States.
Here is a break down of Macri’s agenda abroad in 2017:
At the end of this month, Macri will meet in Madrid with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Argentine ambassador Ramón Puerta, and select business investors from Madrid and Barcelona. Macri’s goal? Susana Malcorra states the goal is to “re-establish Spain as Argentina’s primary investor, like it was before the 2001 crisis.” How? Anyone’s guess is fair game.
In March, Macri will meet with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Monarchs Guillermo and Argentina’s very own Máxima to close on investments in renewable energy and continue developing a United Nation’s program to financially secure unstable sectors within Argentina.
Japan and China
This May, Macri will spend several weeks in Japan and China, first stopping in Tokyo to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The two have a positive relationship, and Macri will likely discuss Japanese investment in Argentina industry, particularly investment proposals with Toyota.
After meetings in Japan, Macri will meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing, a meeting agreed upon after the talk they had last year in Hangzhou. The two plan to discuss Chinese investment in Argentine infrastructure, namely railway and dam projects which will increase the speed of resource turnover.
While not officially on the books yet, Malcorra is working to establish a meeting date with President Donald Trump “as soon as possible.” In light of temporary ban on Argentine lemons and changes in visa regulations, Malcorra notes the changing attitude in US policy from the Obama administration. Macri’s meeting with Trump would attempt to restore previous arrangements from the last administration and reach mutual decisions that will support policy in the best interest for both countries.
Time will tell how these negotiations go, if there will be changes in foreign investment sources, and how these changes will impact the Argentine economy. There is an undertone of uncertainty behind Macri’s planned meetings, as changes in US trade agreements with the Pacific and Mexico could impact foreign investment motivation in Argentine industry during Macri’s planned visits.