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New Zealand Opportunities to invest in Argentina

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New Zealand has opportunities to invest in Argentina ?  Really. During the Kirchner Administration (2003 – 2015) Argentina was a risky and difficult place in which to do business due to expropriations, regulatory uncertainty, foreign exchange restrictions, virulent inflation and opaque, often misrepresented economic data.

The election of tycoon Mauricio Macri as president in December 2015 has markedly improved the business landscape for New Zealand exporters and investors who now have access to a range of lucrative opportunities. Argentina is Latin America’s third largest economy (2015 GDP USD537bn, World Bank April 2016 Update) where income distribution is more equal than in most Latin American countries and it has a broad and deep middle class with strong consumer buying power as well as an extremely wealthy upper class cohort of around four million which offers opportunities for niche goods and services.

As with Brazil and Venezuela, Argentina is presently suffering a significant economic downturn although the other thirty countries in the Latin American & Caribbean region (excepting Ecuador see Part L. 1 & 2.) are enjoying modest growth. The new Argentine government’s economic policy direction has led to substantial reforms and a return to international bond markets which are projected in the medium-term to result in a robust and productive economy in which foreign investment will play an important part although the next twelve months will be characterised by stagflation and a 1% contraction in GDP.

New Zealanders are well thought of and trusted in Argentine business circles and in the wider community we are known for the icons that typify our antipodean isles; tourism, lamb, dairy and rugby and our exporters can build on that knowledge and awareness base. A growing interest in New Zealand about Argentina (and vice versa) has been occasioned by comprehensive media coverage in both countries (news and related advertising) around the Argentine Jaguars rugby team joining the SANZAR Super Rugby Competition and the new Air New Zealand service to Buenos Aires.

Air New Zealand’s thrice-weekly service & LATAM Airlines’ long-standing daily services to Auckland provide the quickest gateway to Asia from Argentina compared to all other available routes and is fostering a growing interest in collaboration between Argentina and New Zealand in terms of servicing third-party markets in Asia. The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) office in Buenos Aires was closed a number of years ago because of a lack of demand when the policies of the former government discouraged New Zealand companies either from continuing with their businesses in Argentina or from establishing new businesses.

Argentina presently falls under the capable aegis of the NZTE Trade Commissioner in Santiago de Chile but given the new business environment evolving under the Macri Government and renewed interest on the part of New Zealand companies & investors it is this writer’s hope NZTE is considering reopening their Buenos Aires office as this would be of vital assistance in maximising the new opportunities for New Zealand trade with Argentina.

Manning Group Limited,

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Contact the Gateway to South America team to learn about the best investment opportunities in the region. The company is a benchmark for foreign investors wishing to invest in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, providing expert advice on property acquisition and disposal.

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