(Updates with new details)
Buenos Aires, Oct 23 (EFECOM).- The Argentine Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, stated this Monday that he will seek to discuss, if he is elected president of Argentina on November 19, a program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “associated to the growth and development” of the South American country.
In his first public appearance after Sunday’s election night, the candidate of the ruling coalition Unión por la Patria (Peronism) explained to international media correspondents – including EFE – that the agreement with the IMF sealed in 2022 to refinance the debt of 45,000 million dollars contracted in 2018 has Argentina “in a difficult situation.”
“I would be happy not to have the restrictions that it has,” added Massa, who this Sunday was the leader with the most votes in the presidential elections, in which he obtained 36.68% support, which allowed him to access a second round. in which the libertarian Javier Milei (29.98%) will be measured, to decide who will be the Argentine president from December 10.
The current Minister of Economy said that he will request that the 2024 Budget project, which currently contemplates a primary fiscal deficit of 0.9% of GDP, carry a 1% primary surplus, “arising from the treatment of benefit cuts.” .
Precisely, the fiscal adjustment is one of the goals imposed by the IMF program signed in March 2022 to refinance the debt with the organization which, with interest, already amounts to 46 billion dollars.
In this regard, Massa stated that his country “has to stop being a chronic debt beggar and become a job seller,” which would be one of his foreign policy aspirations if he became Argentine president.
Furthermore, in his role as Minister of Economy, he announced that starting this Tuesday “the Export Increase Program will be expanded to all activities”, so that companies can settle 30% of their exports at the parallel exchange rate of the cash with settlement (CCL), whose value is 170% higher than the official wholesale exchange rate.
The official candidate assured that the Argentine economy “is going to grow” and that exports will increase “in a astronomical way”, largely due to the “positive balance” in the energy balance.
In addition, Massa referred to the expansion of the currency swap with China, which will allow, he said, “to strengthen the Central Bank’s reserves, increase the capacity for intervention and guarantee that Argentina’s (debt payment) obligations are met.” can face between now and the end of the year without major difficulties”.
Last week, Argentina activated the second tranche of the currency swap with China, ensuring the availability of some $6.5 billion.
Massa claimed the value of the Asian country as “one of the five most important trading partners”, a flow that he hopes to consolidate, while demanding that “Argentine labor access the Chinese market with the least restrictions.” EFECOM