Argentina’s Foreign Minister spoke at a conference in Chatham House about the political and economic changes happening in Latin America.
Argentina is working very hard on its macroeconomic reforms, on reducing the fiscal deficit and combatting inflation, building institutions with anti-corruption practices and strengthening an independent judicial system”, Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said, during the first seminar on Latin America hosted by Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs), where economic, political and social changes in our region were discussed.
Addressing a full audience, Faurie outlined how our country is currently in negotiations to secure free trade agreements with nearly 50% of global GDP, and hopes to finalize them over the coming years. “It has been no easy task to pick up from where a closed economy left off, with restrictions and checks, subsidies and low productivity. And securing social and political consensus continues to be a very delicate task with no majority in Congress”, he explained.
Nonetheless, Faurie saw this morning’s approval for the new budget in the House of Representatives as a “very good sign for Argentina’s credibility” overseas.
“With the support granted by the IMF this year, we will continue with the reforms set out by President Macri”, he added.
The Argentine Foreign Minister also briefly commented on the situation faced by some countries in the region, stressing his concern over the crisis in Venezuela and Nicaragua, emphasising that “Latin America is not an isolated region and cannot be cut off from the problems that are happening elsewhere in the world”.
The Foreign Minister shared details about Argentina’s plan in areas like energy, mining and infrastructure, involving public private partnerships (PPP). Furthermore, he gave special mention to the international relaunch of MERCOSUR and the multiple agreements that it is negotiating with other regions and countries.
Faurie stressed that Argentine foreign policy has worked towards “pragmatically and intelligently reengaging with the world, rebuilding trust and creating economic opportunities”, ratifying the need for a global system of trade that is fair, balanced and rules-based.
The head of the Argentine diplomatic service also thanked the UK for its invitation, and praised the country’s interest in “furthering and consolidating its relationship with Latin America”.
During the conference at Chatham House, the political and socioeconomic perspectives of our region were discussed in a context of change; one that is largely the result of elections held over the course of the year, as well as the common challenges faced by the continent’s leaders.