October 9, 2020
1. Chamber of Deputies passes knowledge economy law
Yesterday, the Argentine lower house approved a bill that establishes a framework to promote the knowledge economy. The measure comes in a bid to spur a generation of new entrepreneurs and improve performance of companies in the technology sector with financial benefits that will be delivered on a periodic basis. The measure will be in effect through December 31, 2029 and will benefit the software, audiovisual production, biotech, bioinformation, genetic engineering, nanoscience, aerospace and nuclear engineering sectors.
2. IMF mission arrives in Argentina
On Tuesday, Argentina received a mission from the IMF in the framework of negotiations to refinance the country’s USD $44 billion debt with the multilateral lender. The delegation was headed by Julie Kozack, Deputy Director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, and Luis Cubeddu, the head of the Argentine mission. The objective of this visit is understood as an exploratory stage of the form the refinancing could take, considering the macroeconomic and social conditions of the country, and dialogue with the government, the central bank, Congress, the private sector and labor unions.
3. Alberto Fernández invites U.S. business leaders to invest in Argentina
President Alberto Fernández participated yesterday in a meeting with the U.S. Chambers of Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean (AACCLA), an entity that brings together 24 chambers of commerce from the region, collectively including approximately 20,000 businesses. In the meeting, President Fernández stated: “We want the state to set forth clear rules and that all investors have to do is comply, generate employment, invest and pay taxes.” Emphasizing this idea, the president continued, “Argentina basically needs investment, production, employment – and we offer the conditions for investment.” Following a summary of the investment options, mentioning specifically wind power, lithium production and the satellite sector, Fernández promised business leaders that confidence in Argentina would be strongly valued.
4. European parliament rejects trade agreement between EU and Mercosur
The European Parliament announced on Monday that it would not pass the trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur in its “current state,” given the environmental policies of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, which caused several countries to withdraw their support. The announcement was included in a resolution passed by the chamber through an amendment introduced by the French delegation. The amendment expresses “deep concern regarding President Bolsonaro’s environmental policies,” which “violate the terms of the Paris Agreement. Under these circumstances we cannot ratify the agreement between the EU and Mercosur in its current state.”
5. The government authorized increases in Maximum Prices program
Through disposition 14/20 of the Undersecretariat of Actions for the Defense of Consumers, new increases were approved for the products reached by resolution 100/20 of the Secretariat of Domestic Trade, which integrates the ‘Precios Máximos’ Program. The authorized increases are: a) Sunflower oil: 5%; b) Frozen food: 3%; c) Pet food 4% d) Rice and legumes 4%; e) Beverages: 3%; f) Canned goods, sausages and pickles: 3%; g) Personal care 4%; h) Sweets and sweeteners: 2%; i) Wheat flour: 5%; j) Infusions: 4%; k) Milks and their derivatives: 2%; l) Home, kitchen and bazaar cleaning: 3%; m) Paper: 3%; n) Other oils: 2%; o) Other flours, noodles, cookies and baked goods: 3%; p) Soups, broths, mash, dressings, condiments and snacks: 2%; q) Wines, sparkling wines and 100% pure fruit juices: 6%; r) ‘Yerba mate’: 6%.