More than 14,000 jobs will be created over the next two years by United States firms
United States companies have already confirmed investments for US$2.4 billion in Argentina, which would be followed by another US$18 billion, exceeding the US$20 billion to be spent in the country on the next two years, according to he President of the United States Chamber of Commerce in Argentina (AmCham), Alejandro Díaz.
“More than 14,000 jobs would be created in the next two years by United States companies, mainly on the service sector, which represents between seven and eight percent of the country’s GDP but could reach 30 percent,” Díaz said, claiming that there are still steps to be taken for that to happen such as lowering taxes and simplifying regulatory hurdles.
“Argentina’s main opportunity to increase the number of jobs is in the service sector,” he added.
AmCham’s head highlighted the export potential of Argentina’s services thanks to the country’s qualified workforce and small-and-medium-sized companies. He said the areas with the most potential are technology, agriculture, design, accounting, engineering and medical diagnostics.
The country has many advantages for exporting its services to the United States, Díaz said, such as the time zone and a population with solid knowledge of English. Nevertheless, he said that local universities should work on adapting their career studies to the future needs of the market.
“The speed of the investments will depend on the experience the investors have with the country, the sector and the location in which they choose to carry out their projects. The easier initiatives to reactivate are the ones made by US companies that have a long history in Argentina,” he said.
Asked about the pending challenges, Díaz said there’s a list of “many factors” in which Argentina has to work to create a “trustworthy” business environment, claiming it will take time for that to happen. He questioned the foreign policies implemented during the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration as the country “lost many markets that will take years to recover.”
“Recovering and improving Argentina’s stand with the world will depend on the ability to work on productivity and competitiveness. Through investments, the country needs to develop technologies that allow it to add more value to its industrial products,” he said. “But Argentina is still far from that goal.”
Among the investment announcements, the world’s number one manufacturer of household products, Procter & Gamble (P&G), said it would spend US$50 million locally over the 2016-2017 period. Ford would spend spend US$220 million to upgrade the key General Pacheco plant in Greater Buenos Aires and General Motors US$750 million in its plant in Rosario.
Date: August 30, 2016