The Minister of Finance, Luis Caputo, gave a speech at the Foundation for Latin-American Economic Research (FIEL, for its acronym in Spanish) 2017 Annual Conference “Argentina: Challenges. What is the agenda to face them?” where he said that “fiscal targets will always be met”.
After the keynote address given by FIEL Director Juan Luis Bour, Mr. Minister said that “investment is one of the most important elements of economic recovery” and he anticipated that “this year we will grow 3% and in the third quarter we will be growing above the 4%”. In this sense, Caputo said that “the recovery is clearly being perceived by the people” and that “real salary has allowed consumption to be part of this growth “. “We are going through the best economic time of our Administration”, Caputo highlighted.
Regarding fiscal targets, the Minister of Finance said that “they will always be met” and that “we are going to achieve fiscal balance gradually”. “Meeting fiscal targets gives us credibility to achieve financing, investment and sustainable growth, Caputo added, and he highlighted that “we are generating investment in infrastructure and reducing the level of deficit”.
Regarding investment in infrastructure, Caputo said that we are “leveraging our resources and the resources of multilateral organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), and the private sector” to finance works for transportation, energy, social housing, sanitation, etc.
Likewise, Mr. Minister highlighted that the Government “is working in 59 investment projects under the Public-Private Partnership scheme for 26 billion dollars for the next three years and a half”. “We are going to invest 3.5 GDP points in infrastructure, which is approximately 50% of what we have invested this year”, he added.
During his speech, Caputo highlighted that “mortgage loans increased in August at a 40% rate monthly” and he forecasted that next year there will be “a mortgage credit boom”. In this sense, he said that in 2017, mortgage loans will amount approximately 50 billion pesos and in 2018, they would amount 10 billion per month.
In addition, the Minister of Finance said that “the Argentine financial system has a huge growing potential” and that “we have inherited the smallest capital market of the region”. “We hope Congress passes the Capital Market Bill after the elections”, Caputo added. Mr. Minister highlighted “the reforms that have favored the development of this market which is growing almost 40% annually” and he added: “We want to give SMEs financing options and the capital market is an essential tool. We want financing to reach citizens and SMEs”.
Finally, Caputo talked about financial inclusion and he explained that an improvement in this sense will enable the reduction of poverty and the development of competitiveness for enterprises. Financial inclusion will allow every sector of the society to access credit in transparent competitive conditions and it will guarantee Argentinians the savings capacity. “We want everyone to grow”, Caputo concluded.