With a gross domestic product (GDP) of approximately US$920 billion (PPP), Argentina is the third largest economy in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. In terms of size, Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world, with a total territory of US$2.78 million square kilometers. Meanwhile, Argentina is Latin America’s fourth most populous country with a total of 44.3 million citizens. Simultaneously, 92% of the Argentine population live in an urban setting, notably the capital city of Buenos Aires with 15 million inhabitants. The vast size, diversity, and industrial indicators of Argentina give the county strong economic fundamentals. Moreover, according to the ‘Doing Business’ ranking, Argentina is the second best country in Latin America and the Caribbean as it relates to the protection of minority interests and investors, both domestic and international.
Economics and the G20 Summit in Argentina
Since the beginning of the presidency of Mauricio Macri in 2015, the government of Argentina has undertaken a series of economic reforms, stabilization measures, and international transactions aimed at increasing the competitiveness of key sectors throughout the national economy. Currently, Argentina’s economy is divided into 11% agriculture, 28% manufacturing, and 61% services. Similarly, the national agriculture industry only utilizes about 54% of the national territory, while another 11% is forested. In terms of natural resources, Argentina has lead, zinc, tin, copper, iron ore, manganese, petroleum, uranium, arable land, and very fertile plains. Within manufacturing, the national industry is focused on food processing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, textiles, petrochemicals, printing, metallurgy, and steelworks. Simultaneously, the country’s agricultural industry has as main products sunflower seeds, lemons, soybeans, grapes, corn, tobacco, peanuts, tea, wheat, and livestock.
All of these industries and economic sectors within Argentina have great development potential, particularly as the country’s currency stabilizes and its economy gains steam moving forward. In terms of trade, during 2016, Argentina imported US$55.8 billion worth of goods and exported US$59 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$3.2 billion. Furthermore, that same year, the country’s main export, representing 17% or US$10 billion of the country’s total, was soybean meal. On the other hand, the country’s main import, representing 8.3% or US$4.6 billion of all international purchases, were cars. Meanwhile, Argentina’s main trading partners are Brazil, China, the United States, the European Union, and Chile.
Argentina’s economic development, dynamism, and growth throughout the last century has made it the recipient of large amounts of foreign direct investment and has boosted the country’s status as one of the world’s most advanced economies. In this regard, Argentina belongs to the Group of 20 most industrialized economies in the world and, this year, President Macri is the Chair of the Group, which means that Buenos Aires will host the G20 Summit later this year. On November 30 and December 1, the leaders of the world’s twenty most industrialized economies are scheduled to gather in Buenos Aires to discuss global infrastructure development, food security, and crypto-currencies, amongst other key issues.
(Read more about Latin American Political Economy in the 21st Century)