Argentina is very rich in natural resources and has a diversified industrial base.
For decades, bad management and too many regulations built a huge external debt and hyperinflation that has recovered to a low 0.7% inflation rate.
Carlos Menem, President since 1989, is taking Argentina on a path of stable, sustainable growth.
Although the economy is growing at a fast pace, unemployment is also rising, due to layoffs in government and privatizing industrial firms and utilities.
Argentina is a democratic nation where moderate political positions prevail. In fact, there is a social consensus about the advantages of free enterprise and the need to maintain monetary and fiscal discipline.
The population, mostly of European descent and belonging to the middle class, has a high level of education. The different ethnic and religious groups which make up society coexist peacefully.
Argentina is one of the countries in the world with the least state interference over private enterprise. There is total freedom for establishing prices and wages.
The privatization program initiated in 1990 transferred most of the state owned companies to the private sector, some of which represented entire industries. By the end of 1994, the total value of privatized companies reached 26.9 billion US dollars. Many foreign companies participated in the program.
Argentina's tax system tends to burden consumption more than business profits. Relatively low by international standards, the tax rate for company profits is 30 %.
The positive business climate is clearly reflected in the steady growth of the investment rate.
Argentina is a member of MERCOSUR, the Southern Common Market, which established a common external tariff (CET). The other countries are Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay.
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