- done GEOGRAPHY
Located in the South of the American continent, Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world and the 2nd largest in South America (after Brazil). It has a strategic location relative to sea lanes between the South Atlantic and the South Pacific Oceans (through the Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel, and Drake Passage) and has a long coastline.
Given its generous extension, Argentina has a wide range of climates, biodiversity and resource wealth. Glaciers and forests in the South, the Andes mountains to the West, dessert landscapes and jungles in the North are just a few.
Argentina’s time zone is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) -3 hours.
- done GOVERNMENT
With over 30 years of democratic rule, Argentina is a politically stable country. The President of Argentina is elected for a 4-year term and with the option of running for a 2nd term. Mauricio Macri, former Mayor of the City of Buenos Aires, won the presidential elections and took office on December 10th, 2015.
Argentina is a federal republic with 23 provinces and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires. The government is divided between an executive, a legislative and a judicial branch.
The country has a wide range of relationships and bilateral treaties such as the G20, MERCOSUR (trading bloc with Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela) and is a member of the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
One of the main goals of the new administration is to get Argentina back on the world stage. As a result of the government’s commitment towards greater openness, the country has attracted worldwide interest and has been visited by numerous heads of state including Barack Obama, Francois Hollande and Matteo Renzi.
- done PEOPLE & SOCIETY
At 43 million, Argentina’s population is relatively young (median age is around 30 years) and grows at approximately 0.9% per year. Until 2030 the country is expected to enjoy a demographic dividend, with the share of the working-age population larger than the non-working-age share of the population.
Throughout its history, the country has welcomed immigration. Between 1850 and 1950, Argentina attracted mainly Italian and Spanish immigrants. Over the last decades, immigrants have arrived mainly from neighbouring countries and Asian nations. The country is well known for its tolerance towards different cultures and respect for diversity.
The official language is Spanish but Argentina has the highest English language proficiency in Latin America. English is mandatory at state schools in the City of Buenos Aires and in the Province of Buenos Aires.
Argentine workers are among the most highly educated in Latin America. The literacy rate is 98% and 16% of the population has higher education levels.
Due to its educated population of young people, its prestigious universities and both a public and private commitment to innovation, Argentine cities have become an attractive destination for mobile development services, software, and gaming that have produced three successful unicorns: Mercado Libre, Despegar, and Globant.
Argentina is one of the main tourism destinations in Latin America, with almost 6 million tourists per year. The capital city of Buenos Aires is a top choice for expats due to its vibrant culture and renowned nightlife.
- done ECONOMY
Argentina is one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America possessing abundant human and natural resources.
The well-known ‘Humid Pampas’ with its high agriculture productivity (as a result of mild climate, abundant rainfall, rich soils, low fertilizer needs) has led Argentina to become a top food producer with large-scale agricultural and livestock industries. It is among the world’s leading beef and soybean exporters and is the top producer of sunflower seeds, lemons and soybean oil.
Argentina also has significant mining reserves: Silver/copper (7th largest in the world), lithium (4th), gold (9th) and potassium. In addition to its conventional oil and gas reserves, Argentina is ranked 4th worldwide in shale oil and 2nd in shale gas reserves.
While the country has a strong history of heavy industries - such as the automotive industry -, fast-growing sectors include renewable energies (due to optimal wind and solar conditions), biotechnology, software development and creative industries. Furthermore, Argentina has recently launched an ambitious infrastructure program (including the construction of highways, roads, ports, and cargo trains) with a special focus on the country’s Northwest to improve the country’s competitiveness.
Following the December 2015 election of President Mauricio Macri, a bold economic program has been launched to strengthen the economy and provide the right investment climate. Recent measures include lifting capital controls, moving to a floating currency, removing export taxes and reducing subsidies to utilities tariffs. The government is also committed to eliminating the fiscal deficit and cutting inflation to a low single-digit figure over the next four years.
The end of the dispute with holdout creditors and the successful $16.5 billion bond issue (4 times oversubscribed) was a significant milestone. These measures, coupled with the fact that Argentina has an open investment regime, have improved investors’ perceptions and encouraged investment.