Former leading bank's president highlights importance of Asian investment to Argentina
Tue, 26/07/2016 - 10:20

Former President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Enrique V. Iglesias said on Monday that Asian investments are increasingly important to Argentina.

In an interview with the Cronista Comercial daily newspaper, Iglesias said that Asia, especially China, is showing a strong interest in investment in Argentina.

"This is not a bad moment in terms of investments but we must work to maintain the confidence of these countries," he said.

Iglesias, currently the director of the Ibero-American Council for Productivity and Competitiveness (CIPC), was in Argentina to discuss with the government about how to improve the country's competitiveness.

Asked about whether the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) should seek to grow closer to the Pacific Alliance, Iglesias said the bloc "should first strength itself internally."

"We are not doing as much as we can internally. To do, we must make the bloc more modern and flexible," said the economist. "Mercosur covers a very important part of Latin America. From this stance, we must seek openings to other markets, with the Pacific being a very important market."

Looking at Argentina, he said the country "is living a macro-economic realignment. This is crucial so it may face the challenges facing Latin America and the world."

According to Iglesias, the region is facing a new reality, which means countries like Argentina must seek greater productivity.

The former head of the IDB reminded that "countries in Europe see SMEs with 80 percent of the competitiveness of a large company. In Latin America, this hardly reaches 20 percent. We cannot underestimate the fact that this is an important challenge."