President Mauricio Macri received Princess Astrid of Belgium at the Casa Rosada, together with five Belgian ministers and a large delegation of Belgian business leaders, calling on them to take advantage of the country’s investment opportunities in the agribusiness, energy and mining, tourism and infrastructure sectors.
“We hope that you will join the efforts being made across the world to support our country,” Macri said to the business delegation accompanying Princess Astrid. The visit is part of a weeklong economic mission to Argentina and Uruguay that has already seen agreements signed with local Argentine companies and organizations in sectors such as food and beverages, energy efficient lighting, port infrastructure and proton therapy solutions for cancer treatments.
In his speech to the Belgian business delegation, Macri underlined that the current Argentine presidency of the G20, the country’s hosting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference last December, and the recent historical agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “show that the country’s return to international markets has been welcomed by the world.”
“We can contribute an enormous amount to energy security, food security and the challenges of the ongoing technological revolution,” he said, alluding at the same time to important G20 priorities this year.
“Argentina has been undergoing historical change over the last two and a half years; it has decided to put behind decades of frustration.”
“Now we want this amazing country to grow, to be a part of the world. For this to happen, we need to be honest, credible and trustworthy, and we have to set clear rules so that businesses like yours will come and invest,” he added. “Argentina will develop faster if it works together with good partners.”
Macri underlined the country’s development potential in conventional energies, solar and wind, paying special attention to the Vaca Muerta, one of the largest shale gas reserves in the world.
He also mentioned the mining sector as another good destination for investments, with Argentina’s mining exports at levels of only 10% of that of its neighbour Chile, despite both countries sharing the Andean Cordillera.
He added too that the Argentine Government expects food production to increase by more than 50% in the next five years. “We are looking for partners to help us add value to our crops so that Argentina can become the world’s supermarket,” he said.
Making reference to the country’s breathtaking landscapes and the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires with its European feel, the president also spoke of tourism as another sector with enormous potential. “We are looking for big tourism operators; this is a very dynamic industry and it requires the vitality that only new businesses can provide,” he said.
President Macri also called for infrastructure sector development, encouraging investment in larger transport networks to support local production, and in improving communications and the internet to boost virtual connectivity.