Country Profile: Hunting for growth in Argentina
Location: Bordering the South Atlantic Ocean in southern South America, Argentina is located between Chile and Uruguay, and is slightly less than three-tenths the size of the U.S.
Language: Spanish is the official language, with Italian and English also prominent.
Total population: 44.3 million
The sky blue and white bands represent the clear skies and snow of the Andes, while the yellow sun symbol with a human face commemorates the appearance of the sun through cloudy skies on May 25, 1810, during the first mass demonstration in favor of independence.
Capital: Buenos Aires
Government: Presidential republic
Religion: 92 percent Roman Catholic, though less than 20 percent practice.
Economy: Following decades of political and economic challenges, Argentina’s new government, led by President Mauricio Macri (elected November 2015), is taking steps to address the country’s problems by liberalizing the Argentine economy, lifting capital controls, floating the peso, removing export controls on some commodities and cutting some energy subsidies. More than 500 U.S.-based companies operate in Argentina, with positive impacts on the economy and society as they directly employ more than 360,000 Argentines. U.S. goods and services trade with Argentina totaled an estimated $22.4 billion in 2015. After years of international isolation, Argentina has taken on several international leadership roles in 2017, including hosting the World Economic Forum on Latin America and the World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference, and is set to assume the presidency of the G-20 in 2018.
GDP (official exchange rate): $545.1 billion
Currency: Argentine peso (conversion rate at press time: 1 ARS equals $0.057 USD).
Franchising in Argentina: With a population that’s highly literate (98.1 percent literacy rate) and well educated, and has high internet and smart phone penetration, the country is again attracting franchise interest. With more equal income distribution than most Latin American countries, Argentina has a broad and deep middle class that enables more consumer buying power.
Franchise association: Argentina Trademark and Franchise Association.
Ease of doing business ranking by World Bank: 116, up two spots from 2016.
Cultural notes: Don’t rush it. Courtesy is very important and efforts to rush a business deal are unlikely to meet with success. Establishing a personal relationship can go a long way, so spend some time talking about sports or social activities, family and mutual interests.
Sources: U.S. Commercial Service, CIA World Factbook, World Bank, “Kiss, Bow, and Shake Hands,” U.S. Dept. of Commerce.