Noticias Invest Argentina

Successful investment Seminar with the participation of important Japanese businesses

Over three days, 75 businesspersons from 54 Japanese companies belonging to the areas of infrastructure and energy learnt of the excellent investment possibilities in Argentina.

With the presence of Argentina’s Vice-President, Gabriela Michetti, the Seminar “Investment Opportunities in Infrastructure and Energy in the Argentine Republic” was carried out. The Argentina Investment and Trade Promotion Agency and JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) held this activity which attracted 75 businesspersons from 54 Japanese companies. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship collaborated in the Seminar, which took place in the San Martín Palace.

“Since we took office, we have been working on reintegrating Argentina to the world. All efforts are directed towards achieving a better quality of life for our people, and investment inflows will enable us to make headway in the zero-poverty plan,” said Gabriela Michetti.

In his welcome speech, the Ambassador of Japan to Argentina, Noriteru Fukushima, thanked the Argentine government for the opportunity given to his nation’s firms: “The change in climate that the taking office of President Macri has generated enables us to be gathered here to talk about investments,” he stated.

Fukushima highlighted that there are only 50 Japanese companies currently operating in Argentina, when there used to be 100. In this sense, he pointed out that “with the reopening of JETRO’s offices in Argentina, the measures undertaken by the government and the proactivity of the Argentina Investment and Trade Promotion Agency, we trust that this figure will climb very soon.”

In turn, Juan Procaccini, President of the Argentina Investment and Trade Promotion Agency, assured that “our country has endured long years of being outside international markets. This led to severe deterioration, but also generated an enormous opportunity to transform Argentina with everybody’s help. We want to become the strategic partner of foreign investors.” He also highlighted the different advantages that Argentina offers to Japanese firms: “we are the third largest economy in Latin America, but the second one in terms of GDP per capita, having an exceedingly strong middle class. We produce food for 450 million people and we wish to raise this figure until reaching 650 million.”

Marcelo Lucco, Undersecretary of Trade Promotion and Investment Development for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, praised JETRO’s decision of reopening offices in Argentina: “it is an indicator of the change that has been taking place in the country. Today, we are seen as an investment destination and we wish to thank this trust and assure that we will be up to the task. The change is political, economic and ethical,” he explained.

Representing the Japanese delegation was Koji Yonetani, Vice-President of JETRO, who thanked the government and said that Japanese businesspersons “come with the best willingness to invest in Argentina once again.” He pointed out that “the changes implemented by President Macri have invigorated the economy and we believe that excellent results will soon appear.” The President of the Chamber of Japanese Trade and Industry in Brazil expressed a similar view by stressing the magnitude of the delegation and asserting that that reflected “the great expectations existing in Japan owed to the enormous improvements in the investment climate generated by Macri’s government policies.”

In the Seminar’s first Panel, the Vice-Minister of Treasury and Public Finance, Pedro Lacoste, summarized what his Ministry has done thus far to “normalize the economy and attract investors.” He explained that 2017’s inflation target is 17% and 2019’s is of 5%. As for economic growth, he assured that the guideline established ranges between 3.5% and 4%, but in his opinion, it could reach 5% in the upcoming years.

The Japanese delegation also listened to Lorena Triaca, Director of Legal and Public Matters of the Argentina Investment and Trade Promotion Agency; Osvaldo Norte Sabino, a specialized consultant for the Superintendency of Corporations; Ezequiel Cassagne, Secretary of the Bar Association; Lucas Llach, Vice-President of the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic; and Pablo Bereciartúa, Undersecretary of Water Resources, Public Works and Environmental Services for the Ministry of the Interior.

During the second day, officials from Argentina’s Ministry of Transportation presented a program on the investment opportunities in railway, airport and port infrastructure. For this subject, the speakers were Andrés Gartner, Chief of Staff for that ministry; Marcelo Orfila, President of SOFSE-Argentine Railways; Guillermo Fiad, President of the Railways Infrastructure Administration; Patricio Di Stéfano, President of the Regulatory Body of the Airport National System; and Alejandro Ok, General Administrator of Ports.

Tatsuhiko Takesada, Managing Director for Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport indicated: “we have the resources and the capacity to offer what Argentina is in need of.”

The second panel of that day was dedicated to telecommunications and featured the participation of Minister Oscar Aguad, who thanked the Japanese government and businesspersons for their willingness: “Know that Argentina offers you clear rules and the peace of mind that companies can generate profits and make use of them freely,” he said. Héctor Huici, Secretary of Information Technologies and Communications, and Esteban Vainer, National Director of Investments for that Ministry, disserted on the investment plans destined to attain zero digital poverty.

Lastly, Juan Aranguren, Argentina’s Minister of Energy and Mining, led the last conference of the day. He invited Japanese businesspersons to participate in the tenders for energy projects that will start in September, and which aim to make Argentina a country with “energy security.” The government official was accompanied by Sebastián Kind, Undersecretary of Renewable Energies, and by Horacio Guadagni, adviser for the Secretary of Strategic Planning.

Natural resources were the central topic of the first panel held during the last day of the Seminar. Daniel Meilán, Secretary of Mining Policy for the Ministry of Energy and Mining, and Rodrigo Troncoso, Undersecretary of Livestock for the Ministry of Agroindustry, presented the investment opportunities in these sectors: “Japanese companies can put themselves forward with investment and technology to help us develop our mining potential,” Meilán explained.

Speaking afterwards were Ignacio Bruera, National Director of the Belgrano Plan, and José Ascárate, Infrastructure Coordinator for that Plan.

At the end of the Seminar, Martín Etchegoyen, Secretary of Industry and Services for the Ministry of Production, valued the complementarity of both countries’ economies. Ángel Machado, President of the Japan-Argentina Joint Business Committee, emphasized the strong bond existing beyond any circumstance. Kimihiko Inaba, Managing Director of JETRO’s department of Manufacturing Industry assured that the Seminar “left businesspersons very satisfied and that it will lead to concrete results”.

The Seminar was held in the framework of an investment mission to Argentina organized by JETRO and the Chamber of Japanese Trade and Industry in Brazil. The delegation included firms belonging to the infrastructure and energy sectors, technology and equipment providers for these sectors, engineering and construction, and Japanese governmental credit and investment agencies. This visit is Japans’ most important investment mission organized by JETRO so far in 2016.

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