Interview: Argentina showing new face to the world to lure in investors
Sat, 13/08/2016 - 13:02

With an economy expected to contract by 1.5 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, Argentina is desperate for foreign investments to help restart its stalling engine.

Juan Procaccini, president of the Argentina Agency for International Investment and Trade (AAICI), hopes that a summit he is preparing will help this quest.

The Argentina Business & Investment Forum will be held in Buenos Aires on Sept. 12-14 and will count on the participation of 1,500 CEOs from the world's foremost companies and around 500 more from Argentina. It will seek to bring about the strategy of President Mauricio Macri to "boost economic sectors, strengthen the public sector and stimulate long-term, public investment, for which foreign investment will be a crucial pillar."

Procaccini told Xinhua this forum must help Argentina to obtain "the 150 to 170 million U.S. dollars it needs to be competitive in a range of sectors,"

For this, he believes "China must be a strategic partner, with its technological capacity, its experience and financing."

"The complementarity between both countries is very large, while Chinese companies can be helped by the AAICI as their permanent point of contact," added Procaccini.

"We have identified four major sectors in need of investment: energy, mining, infrastructure and agriculture," Procaccini told Xinhua, adding that Chinese investment was particularly needed in agriculture.

With cooperation from China, the executive believes Argentina can go from producing enough food to feed 400 million people to producing a sufficient amount for 650 million people.

However, a bright spark has come this year since foreign investment pledges have risen to around 22 billion U.S. dollars since Macri came to power in December.

Those having confirmed their attendance at the three-day summit include Donna Hrinak, Boeing's president for Latin America; Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens; Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca-Cola; Miguel Kozuszok, president of Unilever for Latin America, and Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO for Dow Chemical.

"Argentina is once again on the global investment map and offers some of the most interesting investment opportunities in the next decade," Macri said earlier this year.

For Procaccini, the meeting will serve "to show the changes and reforms Argentina is making, including the most ambitious infrastructure plan in its history."