One of the largest economies in Latin America, Argentina has vast natural resources in energy and agriculture. Recent economic transformation means the future is bright and opportunities plentiful for international businesses based here.
Covid-19 latest information
This guide is an accurate reflection of the pre-Covid-19 business environment in Argentina. Please note that due to the current situation, some circumstances may have changed in this country. Figures and data in the guide were last updated in August 2020.
Argentina also offers significant opportunities in manufacturing and infrastructure, with innovative services in high-tech industries.
Established in 1997, HSBC Argentina is one of the country’s largest financial services organizations, now operating from 140 branches with 4,000 employees.
As reforms take shape, many opportunities will arise in Argentina. This period of transition is a perfect time for international businesses to explore the market and establish relationships.
Get in touch today to find out how HSBC can help you and your business make the most of all that Argentina has to offer.
We look forward to welcoming and doing business with you!
Head office address: Bouchard 557, 21° floor,
Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, C1106ABG
1 World population review, 2019
2 World Bank Group
3 CPwC, 2019
4 Trading Economics, 2020
for ease of doing business (in a survey of 190 measured economies by The World Bank)
Argentina’s presidency of the G20 in 2018 was a strong signal of its current direction. After years of international isolation, it is now committed to connecting with the global economy and playing its part on the world stage.
As the eighth largest country in the world, with a population of over 45 million and access to the 300 million-strong Mercosur South American trade bloc, Argentina is an attractive consumer market.
Exploiting its fertile plains, favourable climate and technological advances, the country has long been a world leader in food production. It has set itself a target of supplying food to more than 600 million people by 2020 – almost 15 times its own population.
Argentina is set to exploit the world’s second largest shale gas reserve and the fourth-largest reserve of shale oil. 75% of its mining surface is still unexplored: its lithium deposits offer particular promise for supply of the electric car market.
Year-long sunshine in the north and the south’s steady winds offer huge renewables potential. Argentina has launched a rolling decade-long renewable bidding programme, aiming to produce 20% of its electricity from renewables by 2025.
With a population largely of Spanish and Italian heritage, Buenos Aires appeals to visitors and expats as a South American capital with a strongly European outlook.
Argentina’s tip is sub-tropical; its foot, some 2,360 miles south, is sub-Antarctic. In between, the landscape shifts from arid desert to fertile plains, from the high peaks of the Andes to the Patagonian salt flats.
The country’s culture is similarly diverse. Its cosmopolitan cities often seem a world away from the interior, where modern-day gauchos (cowboys) – a symbol of Argentinian identity – continue to work on ranches.
The country is divided into 23 provinces and the autonomous capital, Buenos Aires. Each region has its own fund of natural resources and specialties. Food production remains central to the economy, but new industries gaining prominence include the exploitation of renewable energy, lithium and shale products.
A century ago, Argentina was a prosperous global power, based on exports of beef and wheat. However, isolationism and military rule helped trigger recurring economic turmoil through most of the 20th century. This culminated in the major currency crisis of 2001, leading to international debt default, austerity and political chaos.
Since 2015, the centre-right government of President Mauricio Macri has promoted liberalising reforms in an attempt to reverse years of isolationism, attract investment and transform the economy.
These efforts were recognised with Argentina’s upgrade to emerging markets status by MSCI’s investment indices.
Read on to discover more about the dos and don’ts of doing business in Belgium. Also find out how trading in or with the country could help boost the future growth of your business.
With an economy partly at the mercy of US interest rate changes, and a new IMF credit deal, Argentina faces a struggle to bring inflation within its 15% target.
The government has made a start on reducing inefficient subsidies and cutting restrictive tariffs, but full reform will take time.
With three tiers of government overseeing different elements of business, bureaucracy can be challenging. New measures – such as the ability to set up a company digitally within 24 hours – are designed to help.
Limited and high-cost funding provided by the Argentine financial system and capital markets has been an obstacle to growth.
1 MSCI Inc., 2019
2 IMF Group, 2019
All indices represent the latest 2017/18 rankings.