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Video: Argentina's Challenges and Opportunities Facing 2019

Monday, February 11, 2019

Keynote speaker:

  • Alfredo Cornejo, Governor of Mendoza, Argentina

Panel:

  • Alberto Bernal, Chief of Strategy, XP Investments
  • Joydeep Mukherji, Head of Sovereign Ratings in Latin America and the Caribbean, S&P Global Ratings
  • Casey Reckman, Director Emerging Markets Economics Group, Credit Suisse
  • Juan Cruz Díaz, Special Advisor, Americas Society/Council of the Americas and Managing Director, Cefeidas Group (moderator)

All eyes are on Argentina's economic recovery as the country prepares for a presidential election on October 27. An expert panel in New York agreed the country's prospects look to improve in 2019 over the previous year, as the currency stabilizes and inflation drops. Although S&P dropped Argentina's rating to a B last November, Joydeep Mukherji said the ratings agency's stable outlook for the country is more telling. The forecast, however, depends on broad policy continuity under the next government, agreed the panelists. Mauricio Macri's chances at reelection will depend on the peso's performance, noted Alberto Bernal, who projects the election will ultimately come down to Macri and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner—if she runs for president—and is unlikely to be upended by an outsider. Aside from maintaining a path of macroeconomic reform, Casey Reckman highlighted governability will be key for the next administration, which would do well to tackle pension and labor reform as well. 

Before the discussion, Mendoza Governor Alfredo Cornejo gave a presentation on the province's progress in fostering a good environment for investors, in spite of Argentina's economic challenges. Cornejo spoke about measures his adminstration took to provide basic services and create smart regulations for companies like Uber in recent years. "Mendoza and Cordoba are the only provinces in Argentina that did not default when Argentina defaulted," he said. "We are careful with contracts."