The Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, assured that the goals of Argentina’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “will not be changed” and will even “prioritize social protection expenses”, after the meeting which he held with the agency’s managing director, Cristalina Georgieva, in the city of Washington.
“We have exceeded the fiscal goals for the first quarter, and we have managed to accumulate reserves,” Guzmán told the press, at the end of the meeting that took place within the framework of the Spring Assembly of the IMF and the World Bank, in the capital of the United States. USA.
The meeting is part of the “almost weekly” dialogue between Guzmán and Georgieva, which is why today the work of the last few days was reviewed and the progress that has been verified in the implementation of the agreement with the Fund, after the agreement reached at early March to reschedule the US$44 billion debt.
The head of the Palacio de Hacienda explained that at the meeting it was analyzed that “the fiscal path was in line with what was agreed, there is overcompliance with respect to the monetary issue reaching 0.15% of the product” and “growth in the accumulation of reserves was obtained international”.
“The economic program is in line with what was planned. The economy continues to grow steadily and generate employment,” assured the minister, giving details of the meeting with Georgieva, as part of an agenda of meetings that he developed during the day.
In the same sense, Guzmán emphasized that “the economic program helps Argentina to continue growth and attack inflation”, for which “the goals are not going to change” but rather “social protection policy is being reprioritized given the impact of the war on food prices.
The perspective of the local economy that Guzmán raised was, in part, validated this week by the IMF, by raising the growth projections for Argentina to 4% in 2022, an improvement compared to what was forecast last January, while lowered global projections for expansion due to the fallout from the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Both in the meeting with Georgieva and in many of the bilateral meetings that the minister has been holding in Washington, the international context and the implications of the war in Ukraine were analyzed, which are generating an inflationary process at a global level.
“There are countries that did not have inflation and today have two-digit indicators. There is an international consensus to avoid the distributive consequences of the crisis. The importance of governments to avoid the increase in inequality and promote a shared economic recovery,” he said in that Guzman sense.
The war between Russia and Ukraine has altered economic variables around the world, with a sharp rise in grain and energy prices and the consequent rise in inflation to levels not seen for 40 years, and It is an issue that will surely be present at the meeting between the Argentine minister and the head of the IMF.
Guzmán participated yesterday in Washington in the summit of finance ministers and presidents of central banks of the member countries of the G-20 and the International Monetary and Financial Committee.
There, the differences in criteria that led the different countries to that meeting in the face of the war between Eastern Europe were evident, which prevented the elaboration of a joint declaration.
As part of his meetings today, Guzmán encouraged a group of businessmen to invest in energy in Argentina, and more specifically, in the Vaca Muerta unconventional formation.
Guzmán made this call within the framework of the “Atlatinc Council”, a meeting attended by businessmen, representatives of multilateral organizations and the main business consultants.
“We hope to be self-sufficient in gas soon. We are building a gas pipeline (in Vaca Muerta) that will connect the south with the north of Argentina and will significantly increase production capacity,” Guzmán explained during a working breakfast.
The construction of the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline “is a great opportunity for Argentina, it will have significant effects in terms of the competitiveness of our country, in terms of stability of the balance of payments and it also helps to reduce subsidies, because it lowers the cost of production, of energy,” the official said.
Before businessmen and investors, the Argentine official also highlighted the improvements that the country has been showing at the macroeconomic level in the last two years.
“The current situation in Argentina is one of strong recovery of the real economy, with significant challenges and opportunities,” said Guzmán, noting that “in the coming weeks you will see how the performance of the first quarter of the program (with the International Monetary Fund IMF ). The reserve accumulation, monetary and fiscal goals have been met”.
“The fundamentals of the economy are improving, foreign exchange reserves are growing, monetary financing is decreasing, the exchange rate gap, which exists, has also decreased, it has been reduced by about 40 points in the last two months,” the official explained.