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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.


Welcome to Argentina

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!

Juan Marotta
Juan A. Marotta CEO HSBC Bank Argentina

Head office address: Bouchard 557, 21° floor,
Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, C1106ABG


45 million1
2,780,400 sq km
Main languages
Peso (ARS)
Dialling code
USD10,398 per capita2
Top exports
Soybeans and derivatives, petroleum and gas, vehicles, corn, and wheat
Top imports
Machinery, motor vehicles, petroleum and natural gas, organic chemicals, and plastics
Unemployment rate
Corporation tax
Typical office hours
8.00am / 9.00am-5.00pm, Monday to Friday in most cities; 8.00am to 8.00pm in other areas, taking into account a three-hour siesta 
Time zone
UTC -3
Emergency numbers
911 (police, fire and medical emergencies)
Capital city
Buenos Aires
Other major cities
Córdoba, Mendoza, Rosario

1 World population review, 2019
2 World Bank Group
3 CPwC, 2019
4 Trading Economics, 2020

Argentina: A global player again 


# 119

for ease of doing business (in a survey of 190 measured economies by The World Bank)

  • An outward-looking nation

    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.

  • A major market

    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.

  • Global food producer

    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.

  • Rich in natural resources

    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.

  • Ready for renewables

    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.

  • A cosmopolitan capital

    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.

Country profile

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.

5 reasons to do business in Argentina1

  1. Positive business culture
    The government of President Mauricio Macri has introduced wide-ranging pro-market reforms, cutting export and import tariffs and encouraging investment.
  2. A diverse economy
    Besides its agricultural expertise and innovation, Argentina has a strong service sector and an industrial base in fields such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, biotech and design manufacturing.
  3. Dynamic, well-educated workforce
    The country has a well-educated and largely bilingual workforce of 12.8 million people. Its biggest-ever cohort of 15-to-24-yearolds will ensure a strong labour market for the foreseeable future.
  4. Infrastructure opportunities
    Historic underinvestment has left Argentina’s road, rail, ports, water and sanitation in need of development. Ambitious plans are in place to address this, and to develop power and renewable energy projects, through public-private partnerships.
  5. Emerging markets status
    In 2018, MSCI announced that it would restore Argentina’s emerging markets status – an important vote of confidence for the country. As of 2019, the country has been allowed to keep both its emerging market and frontier emerging market ratings.

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.

5 key challenges2

  1. 1

    Inflation target

    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.

  2. 2

    Trade policy and protectionism

    The government has made a start on reducing inefficient subsidies and cutting restrictive tariffs, but full reform will take time.

  3. 3

    Business complexity

    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.

  4. 4

    Scarce business funding

    Limited and high-cost funding provided by the Argentine financial system and capital markets has been an obstacle to growth.

  5. 5

    Costly labour

    Labour laws in Argentina offer strong worker protection, but are widely seen as among the most expensive in the region. Reforms are often powerfully contested by the unions

1 MSCI Inc., 2019
2 IMF Group, 2019

All indices represent the latest 2017/18 rankings.