August 27th, 2021
1. Government raises economic growth projection to 8% for 2021
Economy Minister Martín Guzmán announced that Argentina’s economy will grow 8% in 2021, increasing its original projection of 7%. “Argentina’s macroeconomic situation is becoming more and more robust month by month,” said Guzmán when he spoke at the closing of the Council of the Americas. Regarding investment, the minister informed that: “it grew in the first quarter of the current year 6.1% without seasonality with respect to the last quarter of 2020, and 38.4% was the inter-annual variation in real terms”. Externally, he noted that there is “more robustness,” since international reserves have grown so far this year by approximately USD $7.5 billion. “This corresponds to a growth of USD $3.2 billion, plus the growth resulting from the recent incorporation of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to international reserves for an amount of approximately USD $4.3 billion,” the minister continued. To conclude, he mentioned the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF): “there was a shared responsibility in what was record indebtedness” and reiterated that “we are seeking to solve this problem on the basis of a negotiation and on the basis of conditions that Argentina can sustain.”
2. Paraná-Paraguay Waterway: the government created by decree the entity that will be in charge of the bidding process
Almost two months ago, the government took control of the Paraná-Paraguay Waterway, the 3500-kilometer navigable waterway through which 80 percent of the country’s foreign trade passes. Decree 556/2021 published in the Official Gazette created the Ente Nacional de Control y Gestión de la Vía Navegable (National Control and Management Entity of the Navigable Waterway), a decentralized agency with administrative, functional and economic-financial autonomy, which will report to the Ministry of Transportation. The entity will have the duty to call and award rounds of international and public bidding, to watch over the quality and adequate rendering of services, the development of modernization works, expansion, operation and maintenance of the signaling and beaconing system, dredging and redredging. The Board of Directors will be composed of 15 members and the president will be nominated by President Alberto Fernández, while the rest of the authorities will be proposed by the Ministries of Transportation, Interior and Productive Development. The decree also mentions that the tariffs will be collected by the entity on behalf of the concessionaires and remitted to them, after deduction of the corresponding amounts, in accordance with the contractual terms and regulations governing such concessions. As from September 13th, the government will collect the Hidrovía toll for at least the next 12 months. Around two thirds of Argentina’s total exports, some USD $43 billion per year, are moved through this waterway.
Cronista: Hidrovía: el Gobierno creó el ente regulador a cargo de la próxima licitación
Infobae: Hidrovía del Paraná: el Gobierno creó por decreto el organismo oficial que licitará y adjudicará la nueva concesión de la vía navegable
3. As part of the negotiations with different laboratories, Argentina has already received more than 50 millon doses
With the arrival of 1,624,000 doses of Sinopharm and the delivery of 427,000 doses of Sputnik V manufactured in the Richmond laboratory, the country has reached a quantity of 50,261,120 vaccines to advance with the national immunization plan. Health Minister Carla Vizzotti also remarked that Argentina will surpass the application of 7,000,000 second doses anticipated by President Alberto Fernandez in August. According to the Public Vaccination Monitor, up to Thursday morning, 44,989,834 doses of vaccines were distributed throughout the country, while 40,068,513 were applied. Of this total, 27,430,096 people have been inoculated with the first dose, and 12,638,417 have the complete immunization schedule. The progress in the vaccination plan allows the government to relax restrictions in view of the legislative elections. In this sense, Vizzotti and the Tourism and Sport Minister Matías Lammens, announced that on September 9th, three days before the PASO, the public will be allowed to return to the stadiums. This will be with a capacity of 30% of the capacity of each stadium and clarified that they will start with a pilot test. Officials clarified that the definitive protocols have not yet been defined, which will be analyzed in detail next week in meetings with the Argentine Football Association and the Ministry of Health.
Argentina: Nuevo hito del Plan de Vacunación: Argentina superará hoy las 50 millones de dosis recibidas contra COVID-19
A24: Una semana antes de las elecciones llegan las vacunas de Pfizer y vuelven los hinchas a las canchas
4. Corrientes to hold gubernatorial elections on Sunday
Next Sunday, August 29th, the province of Corrientes will elect a new governor. The contest will be between two electoral alliances competing for the governorship. For the ruling party, ECO+Vamos Corrientes, the current UCR governor Gustavo Valdés, favorite in the polls, is running for reelection, the only one allowed by law in the province. Valdés is running with Senator Pedro Braillard Poccard as his running mate. On the other hand, with the endorsement of the national government, the Frente Corrientes de Todos nominated former mayor of the city of Corrientes and former senator Fabián Ríos, who will be accompanied by the provincial senator Martín Barrionuevo, as his running mate.
5. The Minister of Economy presented in Congress the terms of renegotiation with IMF
The social climate is tense in the middle of the electoral campaign. Social organizations opposed to the national government mobilized on Wednesday at the Ministry of Social Development to protest poverty, salaries, and unemployment. Among the participating organizations -mostly leftist- the Polo Obrero, the Frente de Organizaciones en Lucha (FOL), the Bloque Piquetero Nacional, the Movimiento Socialista de los Trabajadores (MST), and the Partido de los Trabajadores Socialistas (PTS), which estimated the attendance of some 80,000 people. According to a survey carried out by the consulting firm Diagnóstico Político, the “piquetes” and social protests increased in July by 17% with respect to the previous month and by 151% in comparison to July 2020.