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Argentina Country Economic Memorandum: A New Growth Horizon - Improve Fiscal Policy, Open Markets, and Invest in Human Capital

2024-06-20, World Bank Group

Argentina’s production capabilities, characterized by its abundant natural capital assets and well-educated workforce, have the potential to drive sustained and inclusive economic growth. Argentina is home to diverse natural resources, including the world’s second-largest deposits of lithium, and the second-largest gas shale and fourth-largest shale oil reserves. Its fertile land makes it a major agricultural producer, ranking third in soybean production worldwide. Human capital is rooted in its historically high-quality education and health services, as well as notable achievements in knowledge-intensive sectors such as research and innovation. This report identifies three key constraints to sustaining growth in Argentina. First and foremost, macroeconomic volatility is largely responsible for poor growth outcomes: high policy uncertainty and fiscal procyclicality have contributed to a cycle of booms and crashes. Volatility is also driven by an increasing overreliance on primary commodities. Stubborn and high inflation in addition to abrupt changes in exchange rates reduce planning horizons for long-term investment and impede the development of capital markets. Second, restrictive trade policies, in place partly because of macroeconomic imbalances, prevent Argentina from leveraging its vast comparative advantages to reap the benefits of international trade. Third, while human capital is among Argentina’s greatest assets, its quality is gradually declining. Without corrective policies, the skills of the country’s workforce could fall rapidly behind those demanded by a dynamic, technology-driven, knowledge-intensive global economy.

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Argentina Valuing Water: Brief for Policy Makers

2021-06-23, World Bank

This brief for policy makers is a summary of the main conclusions derived from the “Argentina: Valuing Water” report, a detailed and technical water security diagnostic, and is designed for decision makers beyond the water sector. Its main purpose is to make visible the importance of water, and the cost of existing water security gaps on Argentina’s economy, society and environment. The report further highlights the causes behind those water security gaps and identifies opportunities to close them and make the country more resilient to climate change or to other shocks such as the COVID-19, through a more sustainable, inclusive and efficient water management. The document assesses the water security situation today, evaluating the impacts of these water security gaps in the country’s GDP, and then proposes two future scenarios up to 2030: the first one is a “business as usual” scenario, where there are no changes in the way water is managed today, and where water security gaps perpetuate or amplify due to climate change and growing demands. The second “active scenario” is that one where a series of investments are proposed to close the existing gaps, and where, most importantly, a number of water governance reforms are recommended to complement such investments and to make them more sustainable. These reforms are also necessary to use public funds more efficiently, a priority measure in times of crisis.

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Clean and Inclusive Cities in Argentina

2016-11, World Bank Group

This document reviews the existing information on solid waste management and city cleanliness to understand how the country’s municipalities are responding to this important challenge and how these services are supporting the growing urban agglomerations in the country. The review provides data by urban agglomeration but also includes data at the provincial and national level. It considers not only the service coverage and infrastructure but the role they play in a range of issues including the proximity of waste to people’s homes, inequality of access to services, and the impact on municipal budgets. Informality, both in terms of informal employment in the waste sector and the ability of municipal services to reach informal and precarious urban settlements, is also considered. The review is intended as a compilation of data for use by local and national governments, international organizations, academics and non-governmental organizations in their ongoing efforts to improve cities. The data presented highlights the current service gaps and opportunities that can be explored to avoid the costs of congestion in order maximize Argentina’s cities’ role as an engine for inclusive growth.

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Towards a More Competitive, Inclusive, and Resilient Agrifood Sector in Argentina

2024-04-05, World Bank

Argentina’s agrifood sector drives both prosperity and crisis. While agrifood generates essential foreign currency earnings, tax revenue and employment, the sector’s vulnerability to external shocks can wreak havoc on the larger economy. This agriculture sector review addresses the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of Argentina’s agrifood sector. The economic dimension is vital, due to the influence of agrifood productivity and its growth on Argentina’s macroeconomy. The social, or inclusion, dimension highlights the potential to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor as well as access to affordable food for the urban poor. Finally, the environmental dimension examines the urgent need to increase the resilience of agricultural production systems and support their adaptation to climate change, as well as the agrifood sector’s potential to mitigate climate change and other externalities. This summary report is based on a series of more detailed sectoral background papers and is aimed at public sector policymakers and other key stakeholders, with the goal of identifying potential reforms in public policies and programs and contributing to the development of a new shared vision for the Argentine agrifood sector.

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Territorial Development in Argentina: Using Differentiated Policies to Reduce Disparities and Spur Economic Growth

2020, World Bank

The National Constitution puts forward an ambitious goal for the Federal Government: a balanced territorial development; this promise has yet to be fulfilled. Within a cooperative federalism structure - where power-sharing does not always lead to clear separation of responsibilities between federal and provincial governments - Argentina struggles with overlaps in responsibilities and lack of defined roles across different government levels, which makes it difficult to coordinate policies to close territorial development gaps.

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Shared Prosperity and Poverty Eradication in Latin America and the Caribbean

2015-04, Cord, Louise, Genoni, Maria Eugenia, Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos, Cord, Louise, Genoni, Maria Eugenia, Rodriguez Castelan, Carlos

Over the last decade Latin America and the Caribbean region has achieved important progress towards the World Bank Group's goals of eradicating extreme poverty and boosting income growth of the bottom 40 percent, propelled by remarkable economic growth and falling income inequality. Despite this impressive performance, social progress has not been uniform over this period, and certain countries, subregions and even socioeconomic groups participated less in the growth process. As of today, more than 75 million people still live in extreme poverty in the region (using $2.50/day/capita), half of them in Brazil and Mexico, and extreme poverty rates top 40 percent in Guatemala and reach nearly 60 percent in Haiti. This means that extreme poverty is still an important issue in both low- and middle-income countries in the region. As growth wanes and progress in reducing the still high levels of inequality in the region slows, it will be more important than ever for governments to focus policies on inclusive growth. The book includes an overview that highlights progress towards the goals of poverty eradication and shared prosperity between 2003 and 2012, unpacks recent gains at the household level using an income-based asset model, and examines some of the policy levers used to affect social outcomes in the region. It draws on 13 country studies, eight of which are featured in this volume: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The other case studies include: Bolivia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Honduras, which will be included in the web version of the book.

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Argentina Country Climate and Development Report

2022-11, World Bank Group

The Argentina Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) explores opportunities and identifies trade-offs for aligning Argentina’s growth and poverty reduction policies with its commitments on, and its ability to withstand, climate change. It assesses how the country can: reduce its vulnerability to climate shocks through targeted public and private investments and adequation of social protection. The report also shows how Argentina can seize the benefits of a global decarbonization path to sustain a more robust economic growth through further development of Argentina’s potential for renewable energy, energy efficiency actions, the lithium value chain, as well as climate-smart agriculture (and land use) options. Given Argentina’s context, this CCDR focuses on win-win policies and investments, which have large co-benefits or can contribute to raising the country’s growth while helping to adapt the economy, also considering how human capital actions can accompany a just transition.

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Territorial Development in Argentina: Diagnosing Key Bottlenecks as the First Step Toward Effective Policy

2020, World Bank

Argentina’s population and economic activity is highly concentrated in few places, similar to global trends. But unlike countries like South Korea, the concentration of economic activity has not been balanced by successful efforts to improve living standards across the country. How can the government reduce development gaps across the national territory while at the same time supporting growth opportunities within a context of national fiscal deficit? Using a territorial development lens that allows the identification of challenges and opportunities at the sub-national level, this report provides a framework and diagnostics to understand Argentina through three dimensions of scale, specialization, and convergence. Chapter 1 explains the territorial development framework used for the analysis. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the economic geography of Argentina and the challenges the country faces along these three dimensions. Chapter 3 presents a closer look at two provinces, Salta and Jujuy, and puts them under the same lens. Chapter 4 summarizes the key messages of the report, providing benchmarking to compare Argentina to other countries around the world in scale, specialization, and convergence.

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Address to the Inter-American Press Association, Buenos, Aires, October 18, 1968

1968-10-18, McNamara, Robert S.

Robert S. McNamara, on his first visit to Latin America as President of the World Bank Group, spoke about his concerns about Latin American economies and hopes for increased lending in education and agriculture. He is concerned about the U.S. Congress approving the IDA replenishment. He asked for resolve to achieve: more equitable distribution of the benefits of increased productivity; balanced growth; export diversification; and strengthened regional cooperation. He stated that unrestrained population growth cripples economic growth. He highlighted the necessity for stabilizing the rate of population growth.