Recent international optimism about Argentina has centered on multiple factors which include the opening up of the Argentinian economy, the expansion of foreign investment, and the number of like-minded ruling politicians. Leading this effort are President Mauricio Macri, Mayor of Buenos Aires Horacio Rodriguez, Governor of Buenos Aires Province Maria Eugenia Vidal.
In the wake of this optimism and in an effort to elevate the discussion on this New Argentina, the Atlantic Council Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center held an event welcoming Governor of Buenos Aires Maria Eugenia Vidal, to an invite-only audience Thursday, May 26, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Atlantic Council headquarters in Washington, DC. This event was a part of our ongoing Argentina series and our Women’s Leadership in Latin America Initiative.
Following Jason Marczak’s introductory remarks, Governor Vidal spoke about her plans for an economic resurgence in the province of Buenos Aires. Speaking passionately about recent hardships, she outlined some of the new leadership’s early victories since the December elections. These included a thorough reform of the police department and the penitentiary, an increase of the minimum wage and unemployment benefits, and improved relations with the United States. Additionally, Governor Vidal explained how she expects to tackle the economic and social debt confronting her province.
Subsequently, Peter Schechter moderated a conversation with Governor Vidal and addressed the questions at the crux of these issues: How does a province like Buenos Aires maintain the excitement and attract investment in its economy? How will Argentina’s new government encourage infrastructure development to maintain existing structures as well as expand connectivity? What are going to be the benchmarks that the new government will look to achieve in its first term?
The event took place a few weeks after the launching of an Atlantic Council report titled The New Argentina: Time to Double Down on the Energy Sector? by Christian Folgar, concentrating on opportunities in the energy sector for Argentina’s economic growth.