Argentina's reforms 'open doors for S'pore businesses'

On the panel at yesterday's seminar were (from left) sales manager for the Asia-Pacific for MP Wires Sean Henry, Dr Le, Mr Hartstein and Mr Bocalandro.
On the panel at yesterday's seminar were (from left) sales manager for the Asia-Pacific for MP Wires Sean Henry, Dr Le, Mr Hartstein and Mr Bocalandro.PHOTO: SINGAPORE BUSINESS FEDERATION

Economic reforms in Argentina have made it a more promising place for Singapore businesses and investors, according to a seminar yesterday.

The changes since the new government was elected last December allow foreign firms easier access to capital and greater incentives to trade through removing currency controls on the peso and increasing tax incentives for investments in sectors like renewable energy.

Dr Le Xia, the chief economist at global bank BBVA-Asia, told the event that the structural reforms "are anticipated to (help it) pick up growth momentum".

Mr Pablo Hartstein, the head of trade section at Argentina's Jakarta embassy, noted that "over US$170 billion (S$228 billion) of investments have been identified across multiple sectors", a reference to the potential value of projects that the country looks to undertake with foreign investors in the energy and mining, agribusiness, and technology and services sectors.

Mr Ricardo Luis Bocalandro, the Argentine ambassador to Singapore, said on the sidelines of the seminar organised by the Singapore Business Federation and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce that his country wants to collaborate with Singapore to capitalise on its strength as a trading port with expertise in infrastructure projects. "We also have plans to set up an embassy in Singapore next year to strengthen relations with Singapore and facilitate trade, but that would depend on Argentina's budget in 2017," said the Jakarta-based Mr Bocalandro.

Singapore's bilateral trade with Argentina was worth $367 million last year, according to International Enterprise Singapore.

The seminar was attended by 50 representatives of local firms and government agencies.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2016, with the headline 'Argentina's reforms 'open doors for S'pore businesses''. Print Edition | Subscribe