Argentina Overview – Sector Opportunities

Author:Mr Cody Mcfarlane
Profession:Harris Gomez Group
 
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Argentina at one time was the poster child for foreign direct investment in Latin America. This came to an end after periods of political, economic and social upheaval left Argentina troubled, however, for example with a populist regime in the past decade that intervened in all sectors of the economy, especially imposing huge protectionist taxes on imports and exports. Following the election of President Mauricio Macri's new government in November 2015, much of that has begun to shift, and Argentina is once again opening for business.

President Macri started his term with important changes, including the devaluation and managed float of the peso, the removal of many of the restrictions on the acquisition and movement of foreign currency, efforts to make it possible for a greater number of imports to enter the country without the need for import licences and the removal or reduction of taxes on agricultural exports.

Looking ahead, Argentina has plenty of opportunities for companies and investors. Sectors of importance include mining, oil and gas, renewable and nuclear energy, infrastructure and agricultural technology.

Below we have provided an overview of some the opportunities that exist:

Energy

Regardless of low international prices, development of hydrocarbons is still considered a great opportunity for the economy since Argentina has one of the mail shale oil and shale gas reservoirs in the world. The discovery of Vaca Muerta and the partnerships between YPF and foreign companies further improve the ground for the development of the sector.

On March 11th, 2016, the energy minister said the exporters of heavy crude form Argentina will receive USD$7.50 per barrel subsidy from the government as long as the international prices remain under $47.50 per barrel.

Exxon Mobil recently announced it could put upwards of $10 billion behind efforts over the next few decades to extract shale gas from Argentina's Vaca Muerta region.

Exxon's plans, as described by Chief Executive Rex Tillerson and reported by Bloomberg, have included a $200 million investment in the region and will include $250 million more "in coming months" for a pilot project. The remaining billions would come if the pilot program works out.

Agribusiness

Agribusiness is considered a critical engine for the country and to ensure the rebound of this sector, the Government eliminated the export taxes on all agricultural, cattle, fishery and industrial products, with the exception of...

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