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Montevideo, September 27th 2023 - 12:41 UTC



Argentina's energy policies concern UK investors

Monday, December 4th 2006 - 20:00 UTC
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Argentina's energy policies and relations between government and the private sector were the main points underlined by a delegation of British MP that recently visited Argentina with the purpose of promoting trade and exploring “new markets”.

Although the Falkland Islands issue was not formally in the agenda the British MPs message was clear, "when countries have strong trade relations they don't squabble".

The delegation was headed by Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff, Conservative and chairman of the Trade and Industry Committee, who praised Argentina's economic recovery but also pointed out to some of the areas that concern.

"Argentina was a leading trade partner of the UK and our intention is to retake that relation", said MP Luff whose delegation previously visited Brazil and India in the first half of the year.

MP Luff as has been Britain's position regarding the agriculture protectionism of the European Union said that "we're allies of Argentina in efforts to improve farm produce trade. We're part of the solution, however the problem is France".

The delegation which spent several days in Argentina met with business, financial and software associations, members of Congress the press and other groups to get a full picture of the overall Argentine situation.

"I've been told Argentina is a difficult market. You are used to market fluctuations but we heard concerns about the energy sector and the supply of gas. I'm talking of companies established in the country and wishing to expand", said Luff.

"I regret British businessmen are not sufficiently audacious and prefer United States and China, and not India or Argentina. I'm convinced this region has a very promising future", he insisted.

More specifically Luff said that businessmen are not taking advantage of "many opportunities" and even when "sometimes, more than courage is needed, Argentina has a high level of education and a well trained working force".

Luff described Argentina's prospects as "very good", although "I would recommend that investors monitor closely their sectors".

Argentina faces a most favorable international situation and "there should be more investments in the energy sector. This is worrisome, maybe incentives are missing".

However he praised the Argentine education level and software know-how that has made leading companies such as Google "to look for associates in this country".

But investors need clear stable rules of the game and businessmen that they will be entitled to the profits they make or can make.

"I won't tell you how to manage this country or how to handle foreign relations but this continent is associated to pre concepts of hyperinflation, military rule?and changing them takes time; the default, energy policies and price regulations do not contribute", emphasized the head of the British delegation.

Finally and given the hard line of the last three years from the current Argentine administration regarding the Malvinas question, could the issue interfere with the bilateral relation.

"Why do you think the European Union was created? to avoid war between France and Germany. When countries have strong commercial relations they don't fight", concluded MP Luff.

Categories: Mercosur.

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