Resigned to the fact that their preferred candidate Mauricio Macri is anticipated to lose the upcoming presidential election, Argentina’s business elite is anxious to hear the next government’s plan to revive the damaged economy. This sentiment was reflected among the roughly 1,000 bankers, executives, academics and analysts who met in Mar del Plata last week for the annual IDEA
Following President Macri’s defeat in the primary elections earlier this year, business executives are desperate to know how the left-wing candidate Alberto Fernandez plans to tackle inflation, promote economic growth, encourage investment and set taxes.
President Macri- who trailed Fernandez by 16 percentage points in the primary vote- spoke to the IDEA conference attendees via video conference, assuring the audience that his campaign wasn’t over yet.
As the Oct. 27 election approaches, the country’s economy is in a deep recession, the peso has fallen 35% since the beginning of the year, capital controls have come back, and according to Bloomberg
, bondholders are heading for a restructuring..
Julio Figueroa, the chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc.’s Argentina operations, told journalists at the event that,
“Argentina first needs an economic plan.. No magic plan is needed, just a realistic one.”
This sentiment was also made evident in Washington D.C., where International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that talks over Argentina’s credit line can be continued once the next government’s policy framework
is revealed (Bloomberg
“[The IMF] is fully committed to work with Argentina and make sure that there can be policy improvements,” Georgieva stated.
Data released at the conference didn’t offer optimistic outlooks, either. As reported by Bloomberg
“In a survey of 240 business leaders presented by the D’Alessio IROL consulting firm, held in October after the primaries, only 34% of the companies expect to increase its sales in the next 12 months, compared with 70% when they were asked in July.”
Marcos Galperin, CEO of online retailer and payments giant MercadoLibre Inc., expressed that he’s struggled to understand how Fernandez is going to pay for all the social spending he’s promised during his campaign.
“There is no way for 6 million formal workers to generate enough resources for 15 million poor people,” Galperin said (Bloomberg