Argentina stretches from the tropics from the north to the southern Antarctic tip of South America. Argentina is best known for its pampas, great football players, wine and tango.
Capital: Buenos Aires
Official language: Spanish
Currency: Argentine peso
Passport and visa: A Finnish citizen can stay in Argentina without a visa for up to 3 months. The passport must be valid for at least the intended stay.
Time difference to Finland: In summer: – 6 hours In winter: – 5 hours
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Agriculture and fishing
More than half of Argentina’s land is used as pasture and about one-seventh of the land can be cultivated. Most of the agriculture is concentrated in the fertile Pampas. Agriculture is mainly conducted on large estates, estancias, and mechanization is far driven.
- CountryAAH: Comprehensive import regulations of Argentina. Covers import prohibitions and special documentation requirements for a list of prohibited items.
Argentina is a major producer of soybeans, cereals, such as wheat and corn, oilseeds, beef and dairy products. The farmers also grow sugar cane, sorghum, rice, flax seeds, potatoes, vegetables, citrus fruits, cotton, tea, tobacco and more. The country is a major producer of organic foods. A large part goes on exports to the EU countries, the US and Switzerland. Next to Australia, Argentina is the country with organic cultivation on the largest area, about 4 million hectares.
Argentina is one of the world’s three largest soybean exporters. Production has multiplied since the mid-1990s, largely due to high demand from China. A large part of the soybeans are processed into oil, pellets, flour and biofuels. Genetically modified species are often cultivated. For Argentina defense and foreign policy, please check themotorcyclers.
Europe, and especially Spain and the Netherlands, is the most important market for Argentine biofuels. However, a trade dispute between the EU and Argentina has led to a reduction in exports. Genetically modified species are often cultivated. Soybeans were grown in 2013/2014 on 21 million hectares, compared to just over 14 million hectares ten years earlier. Concerns have also been raised about how it affects the soils when you no longer rotate between different crops. As the cultivation of soybeans has increased, the cultivation of cereals has decreased.
When it comes to cereals, the government has introduced quotas for how much that can be exported, partly to encourage more people to grow soybeans. For soybeans, there are no quotas but probably an export tax of 35 percent. Heavy increases in the tax in 2008 led to conflicts between the government and several farmer organizations (see Current policy). Concerns that profits would be eaten up by export taxes and high inflation caused many farmers to keep their soybeans in stock in 2013/2014 instead of selling them on the world market. In 2006, Argentina was the world’s fourth largest wheat exporter in 2013, the country had fallen to tenth place.
In the west along the Andes, wine is produced from irrigated grape cultivations, especially in the province of Mendoza. Argentina was the world’s sixth largest wine producer in 2012. About one fifth of the wine is exported to the EU countries, the USA and Canada in particular.
Livestock breeding occurs in all parts of the country. Most important is the production of beef. Sheep breeding occurs mainly in Patagonia in the south. The Argentines eat a lot of meat (about 57 kilos per person per year), but large quantities are also exported. However, exports have declined, partly because of the quotas introduced by the government in 2006 to increase the availability of cheap meat in the domestic market. However, demand for Argentine meat has declined in the European market. This has led many farmers to reduce the number of animals to invest in profitable crops such as soybeans.
At the same time, the fishing industry has increased in importance. Up to 95 percent of catches of octopus, shrimp, hake and anchovy, for example, are exported to Spain, Brazil, the USA and Italy. However, overfishing is a problem, and restrictions have been put in place to prevent fishing. Argentina places part of the blame for this on Chinese and Korean fishing boats which, according to the authorities, illegally fish in Argentine waters.
FACTS – AGRICULTURE
Agriculture’s share of GDP
6.1 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
54.3 percent (2016)
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Offers how the 3-letter acronym of ARG stands for the state of Argentina in geography.
Argentina provides its own satellite
In the middle of the month, Argentina, as the first Latin American country, sends its own satellite: Arsat 1. The satellite should have cost $ 270 million, but Argentina expects to make money from not having to pay rent to foreign companies for telecom connections.
New agreement with Russian energy company
The state-owned oil company YPF will conclude an agreement with Russian Gazprom on natural gas exploration in early October. The deal is said to be worth a billion dollars.
New general strike
The unions announce a new general strike at the end of the month. According to the organizers, 80 percent of the workers participate in the strike.
Trade delegation travels to Russia, despite sanctions
The Argentine government sends a trade delegation to Moscow to discuss increased agricultural exports from Argentina to Russia, despite the fact that it is subject to international economic sanctions due to the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Argentina in “limited state bankruptcy”
The final time limit for payment of the debt to the hedge funds (see June 2014) passes without Argentina paying. This causes several credit rating agencies to further lower Argentina’s status. The country is declared to be in “limited state bankruptcy” as the government has suspended some but not all loan payments. Argentina disputes that the country is on the brink of bankruptcy and points to the payment made to the bank in the US in June. The New York court that handled the dispute is urging Argentina to continue negotiations with the hedge funds. The Argentine government is trying to bypass the court decision in August by persuading lenders to accept new debt securities that would originate from an Argentine financial institution and thus would be subject to Argentine laws and not US. US Judge Thomas Griesa says this is “not legal”.
Stock market crash after US judgment
A new severe economic crisis sets in when the US Supreme Court dismisses Argentina’s appeal of a New York court decision in August 2013. In the ruling, Argentina was ordered to pay more than $ 1.3 billion to US hedge funds (which the Argentines call gambling funds) who bought Argentine government securities cheaply during the 2001-2002 crisis and who did not agree to a renegotiation of the debt. Argentina is now requested to pay its debts. The New York judge also decides that Argentina may not pay other lenders until the hedge funds are received, and blocks a bank account with over $ 500 million that Argentina has paid into a US bank that administers payments to other lenders. If the Argentine government can delay payments to the hedge funds by the end of the year, a clause will which states that if Argentina pays the hedge funds before the end of 2014/2015, the country must also pay the full debt to other lenders. The trend is causing the value of the stock exchange in Buenos Aires to fall and Argentina’s international credit rating is lowered. President Fernandez de Kirchner says on TV that Argentina cannot afford to pay the debts to the hedge funds and that she as president does not intend to be blackmailed.
Boudou is prosecuted
Vice President Amado Boudou is summoned to a federal court to hear about the suspicions against him in connection with a corruption deal (see April – May 2012). He then tries to distance himself from his business partner José María Núñez Carmona. At the end of the month, Boudou is formally charged with corruption. He risks being sentenced to six years in prison.
Clear agreement on repayment of debts
Argentina agrees with the foreign governments of the Paris Club on the terms to repay its debt to the club of $ 9.5 billion. The debt should be repaid gradually over four years. A first installment is due in May 2015.
Tense between the Catholic Church and the government
A statement in which Catholic bishops express concern over the escalating violence in society is leading to new tensions between the Catholic Church and the government, which it finds unfairly blamed for the problems. Incidentally, President Fernández de Kirchner appears and the Church’s contacts have improved since Francis I took office as Pope in 2013.
General strike in protest against deteriorating living conditions
Trade unions are calling for a 24-hour general strike across the country in protest of the government’s economic policies, which the union believes are the cause of popular dissatisfaction with high inflation, low wages and higher taxes. Almost all public transport stops during the strike. Many businesses are forced to keep closed because staff cannot get to work. Schools and public service are also affected. According to trade unions, over one million people are participating in the strike.
Teacher strikes with demands for high pay raises
Teachers go on strike for higher salaries. The government promises salary increases of 22 percent, which the teachers reject. In Buenos Aires, teachers also say no to a salary ban of just over 30 percent. Although a court orders them to return to work, the teacher strikes continue.
New index for measuring inflation
The government presents a new index to measure inflation. This shows that consumer prices have risen by almost 4 percent in January 2014 alone. The new index has been created to meet demands from the IMF. The new figures cause unions to demand wage increases of at least 30 percent for 2014.
Peson loses in value
At the end of January, the Argentine pesoon is falling rapidly in value against the dollar as the central bank gives up its attempts to keep the rate up. The exchange rate is the lowest in twelve years. The government responds by easing some of the currency restrictions, among other things, the surcharge on dollar purchases is lowered from 35 percent to 20 percent (however, you do not have to pay it if the money is deposited into a bank account). It also becomes legal to buy dollars to save their savings, however, a limit is set at $ 2,000 a month for those who earn 7,200 pesos (about $ 900) a month. However, many Argentinians are already buying so-called blue dollars at a higher price on the black market. Finance Minister Axel Kicillof says the government is concerned about the situation, but blames the biggest problems on currency speculators.
New restrictions on internet trading
Argentina imposes restrictions on Internet commerce from abroad. This is a way to prevent capital being transferred out of the country. Under the new rules, Argentines are only allowed to buy two items a year for a total of $ 25. In addition, they must pay 50 percent tax on the price of the goods. Argentina’s foreign exchange reserves now amount to $ 29.5 billion, a decrease of more than $ 10 billion since the beginning of 2013.