Macri pushes at Argentina’s closed door

Source: The Financial Times
By: Benedict Mander

“In the assembly plants of Tierra del Fuego, often the only thing that is Argentine is the packaging, the manuals and perhaps the odd wire. Ninety per cent of the inputs come from abroad. That has to change,” says Miguel Ponce, a former undersecretary for industry and trade.

The tax-free zone on the desolate archipelago 500 miles from Antarctica, where goods cost two to three times what they do in neighbouring countries, is only the most egregious example of a business culture in Argentina that is often more reliant on protectionism than entrepreneurial vigour.

In a push to prove to the world that his country is “open for business”, Argentina’s investor-friendly president Mauricio Macri last week held a business forum that saw almost 2,000 international and local executives descend on Buenos Aires.


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