New start for Argentina!

Pic: Reuters

After a politically tumultuous 2002, Argentina is braced for a new take-off. New elections were held in April 2003. Peronist contenders Kirchner and Menem got the highest amounts of votes, however none got not enough votes for outright majority. A second-round voting became unnecessary as Carlos Menem eventually withdrew from the race.

Newly elected President Nestor Kirchner, installed on the 25th of May, has formed a new and ambitious government with both new and old faces and with some members of allied parties. This will undoubtely add to a broader support than former governments. Kirchner has stated that his main goals are providing for political stability for the coming 4,5 years, as well as sustaining Argentina's economic recovery and improving social justice.

Thanks to the fall of the peso, exporting companies, especially those of agricultural products, have grown substantially in the last 6 months. Tourism also got a big boast through the currency devaluation. Building activity is also picking up, as most capital restrictions have been lifted and people start investing again. Some sectors have shown growth figures of up to 10% in the first quarter of 2003.

A positive effect of the lift of banking restrictions is the new dynamism in the financial markets. The Merval index jumped through the 600 level in April and foreign firms are eying the opportunities in the stock market. One company, that's enjoying a big boost in its business is ABN Amro Trust Company (Argentina) S.A.. In its role as Trustee and Fiduciary, ABN AMRO Trust acts as intermediary between parties in business transactions. In cooperation with banks, companies and the government this subsidiary of the Dutch bank provides the legal framework to get deals executed.

International cooperation is also expected to get a new impulse. Brazil's recently installed President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has declared he would like to see the activity with Mercosur increased. Together with surrounding countries and Chile, this should provide an important stimulus for Argentinean companies. As new optimism is translated into new investments and foreign interest in the country, Argentina now has the unique opportunity to kickstart a new era of prosperity.

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