Argentina held general elections on Oct. 25, 2015, following
primary elections which were held on Aug. 9, 2015. The October
round resulted in surprisingly close results, which forced the
first presidential runoff round in Argentine history. This past
Sunday, Nov. 22, the runoff resulted in a victory by Mauricio Macri
over Daniel Scioli, the political successor of the current
president, Cristina Fernandez de Kichner. This narrow victory of
three percentage points signifies a rightward shift in the
country's political and economic agenda.
On Monday, Mr. Macri vowed to get Argentina's stalled
economy moving again with sweeping economic reforms to tackle weak
growth, high inflation and a deep fiscal deficit after more than a
decade of free-spending leftist populism. This shift in government
opens the door to better relations with the US and Argentina's
financial creditors. Investors have acknowledged the potential for
opportunity as witnessed in the 25 percent surge of the Buenos
Aires stock exchange after the first round of elections when it
became clear that Macri had a chance of taking over the presidency.
"Macri understands what the country needs to do to regain the
confidence of international investors and get the economy back on
its feet," said Andrew Stanners, investment manager at
Aberdeen Asset Management.
For the rest of the world the success of Macri represents a more
business-friendly Argentina, one that promises to move away from
protectionist economic policies and that encourages foreign
investment. Macri has already announced that his government will
lift the control exchange, promote investment in infrastructure,
renew access to international financial markets, remove export
taxes, and diversify the Argentine electricity matrix, among other.
The new leadership also bodes well for the mining industry.
Macri's presidential campaign focused and promised to lure
foreign capital with tax incentives and legal certainty.
Furthermore, Macri's long term plans to stabilize the economy
and soften recently adopted policies, such as the requirement to
keep all export revenue in the country, will help bring back
investors to mining industry.
Ultimately, this change represents the end of the Kichner era,
and the start of a new political and economic chapter in Argentina
and South America.
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