March 11th, 2022
1. The Chamber of Deputies approved the refinancing agreement with the International Monetary Fund
On Friday of last week, after closing the debt refinancing agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the national government sent said understanding to Congress in the form of a bill. On Monday, the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, attended the plenary session of the Budget and Finance committees to explain the scope of the agreement with the IMF, where he assured that, if not approved, “it would cause exchange rate stress and have an impact on the inflation, unemployment and poverty”. On Tuesday, the committees met again and received unions, social movements, industrial groups, businessmen and representatives of the agricultural sector to express their opinions on the agreement with the body. There, the main business chambers of the country and the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) rejected the default and urged legislators to support the project. Later on Wednesday, a debate was held between the legislators of said committees where a consensus final text was agreed between the ruling party and the opposition, which supported a refinancing, but did not want to approve an economic program. Finally, the Chamber of Deputies met this Thursday in a special session where the initiative was given half sanction. In this way, the Senate is expected to definitively approve the law.
2. ExpoAgro took place after two years
Throughout this week, ExpoAgro, the largest agricultural fair that takes place once a year and lasts four days. This year’s edition was the first one after the two year interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and was held in San Nicolás, province of Buenos Aires, having the presence of stands from nearly 600 different companies, where novelties and launches from the agribusiness sector were exhibited. In this sense, it is worth mentioning the participation of the Governor of the province of Buenos Aires, Axel Kicillof, accompanied by the provincial Security Minister, Sergio Berni; the national Minister of the Interior, Eduardo de Pedro; and the national Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Julián Domínguez. There, Kicillof stated that the “province of Buenos Aires is an agricultural power in Argentina” and stressed that the event was made possible thanks to the vaccination policy carried out by the national government. On the other hand, Domínguez said that “true capitalism is in the countryside because it reinvests in the development of the production system and there is a clear aspiration for growth.”
3. The government tightened controls on imports
Last week, the Central Bank’s Board of Directors resolved that the entity would join the Integral Import Monitoring System (SIMI), in which the Ministry of Productive Development and the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP) participate. There, it established the regulation of the conditions of access to the Single and Free Exchange Market (MULC) for the payments of imports corresponding to Automatic Licenses, leaving out of such regulation the Non-Automatic Licenses, the payments of capital goods, and the imports of goods related to the needs derived from the current sanitary situation associated to COVID-19. As a result, different versions emerged about how this modification would affect the operation of the SIMI. Therefore, the following day, the Ministry of Productive Development clarified in a statement that, although the Central Bank was integrated into the system, the latter would not be modified.
4. The Government of the City of Buenos Aires eliminated the COVID-19 protocol for offices
Last Monday, through Resolution 99/22 published in the Official Gazette, the Ministry of Economic Development and Production of the City of Buenos Aires revoked the “Protocol for the operation of administrative offices for the prevention and management of COVID-19 cases”. In this sense, it eliminates the obligation to maintain sanitary measures for the performance of the activity, such as the mandatory use of face masks, hand sanitization, and cleaning and disinfection of the environment. However, although the specific protocol for offices is no longer in force, the use of face masks in closed places will continue to be mandatory.
5. The national government appointed a new official as Director of the Agency for Access to Public Information
This Thursday, through Decree 110/2022, the national government appointed Beatriz de Anchorena for a period of five years as Director of the Agency for Access to Public Information, a position that had been vacant since 2020. In this regard, during the first months of 2021, then Chief of Staff, Santiago Cafiero, had nominated Gustavo Fuertes to occupy said position, but his candidacy had not prospered due to Fuertes’s lack of experience on the subject. Close to the Kirchnerist wing of the coalition, de Anchorena served as Undersecretary for Institutional Strengthening of the Secretariat of Management and Public Employment of the Chief of Cabinet of Ministers, where she promoted the creation of the National Direction of Integrity and Transparency. The AAIP is in charge of guaranteeing the access to public information, promoting active transparency measures and the protection of personal data, the latter being of great importance for the Knowledge Economy sector.