The Argentine private productive sector in general, and Cordoba in particular, closely follows the day-to-day developments in the exchange market, the communications of the Central Bank, the fluctuations in monetary actions and the public and private messages of officials . They are trying to decode the fuzzy map of the government’s economic policy to find out what to expect in the short and medium term. In a virtual meeting this week, an analyst recognized Cordovan businessmen: “The measures that have been taken to boost the generation of foreign exchange or bring some confidence, the truth, have had very little impact, they are homeopathic measures.” There are three issues that concern the private sector: the shortage of foreign exchange and the complications to access the dollar; the difficulties and obstacles that are being added in foreign trade, mainly for the importing point, both of finished goods and inputs, parts or capital goods, and the generation of new taxes or quasi-taxes that, they say, end up discouraging investment and the generation of new jobs.
Last Thursday, a month after the stocks tightened and became a super stocks, the Central Bank led by Miguel Pesce introduced more changes in operations and ‘tightened’ more the requirements for companies that must access the foreign exchange market to pay for imports. Communication “A 7138” provided that “to give access to the exchange market for the payment of imports of goods with pending customs entry registration, the intervening entity must verify that the importer has the declaration made through the Comprehensive Monitoring System of Imports in ‘OUTPUT’ status in relation to the goods involved, in all cases in which said declaration is a requirement for the registration of the import destination application for consumption ”. Thus, operations in a situation of delay may not make new advance payments for imports of goods. On the other hand, it was also established that operations that imply “access to the exchange market for a daily amount equal to or greater than the equivalent of US $ 50 thousand must be reported.”
A businessman from Córdoba who works daily with Customs explained the changes and their scope: “The purpose of this communication is not to solve anything but quite the opposite. Now, the Central Bank is the police for the transfer of foreign currency abroad. Clearly this is going to end in greater discretion in operations. For that reason, and beyond what the standard establishes, its implementation will have to be seen later. 48 hours prior notice is required for those who have to pay US $ 50 thousand or more, very low for almost any industry that imports inputs, the automotive, metallurgical, plastics, agrochemicals, etc. As a national official said: they may or may not agree with the discretion, but we were ratified by the popular vote ”.
A few hours before the businessman’s explanation, a message from another private sector executive circulated: “IMPOS. Everything stops and is seen case by case. We are going to model Guillermo Moreno, but without an interlocutor ”. In parallel, the good news that can be rescued is that the possibility would be released so that companies that have to face debts of more than US $ 1 million per month do not have the obligation to renegotiate those commitments as requested in the beginning, but can deal with them with the foreign exchange generated by their exports.
Production on alert. “Far from being solved, access to foreign exchange is more complicated. But it is all very confusing, they allow to settle debts for more than US $ 1 million and that before could not be paid, but they put more obstacles to imports of more than US $ 50 thousand. A business with stock stops and does not sell, but an industry cannot not produce. It is very harmful not to produce and we cannot manufacture regardless. Engines are imported, for example, or tires for agricultural machinery. Things have been slowing down permanently, that is the problem ”, Eduardo Borri, president of the Chamber of Metallurgical Industries of Córdoba and head of the firms Metalfor and Bertotto Boglione, of Marcos Juárez, points out about this scenario.
At the end of September that entity had sent letters to Minister Martín Guzmán and to the director of the Central Bank raising the “terminal situation” of the metallurgical companies. “Without inputs there is no production. Without production in our sector, a large number of genuine jobs disappear and the strength and historical drive of our Province in the powerful national industry vanishes ”. They had no answer. At the end of this edition, new announcements were expected, which would have to do with some measures to alleviate access to the dollar counted with liquidation, in search of trying to decompress its price that was approaching the pair of the parallel dollar, around $ 175.
From the Industrial Union of Córdoba (UIC), the procedures that its mother entity, the UIA, can face directly with the national government, are pending. Regarding the difficulties in importing and the restrictions that remain in the foreign exchange market, the president of the UIC, Marcelo Uribarren, states: “it is clear that if the underlying problem is not solved, the restriction will be the only way out, but that It is also shrinking everything, the economy is not expanding but is contracting. It is time to promote investment more than ever, the State does not have the funds, that is why investment has to be promoted, but Vicentin does not help, nor does the justice reform nor a teleworking law that is bad. There is no legislation to promote investment, something that is needed more than ever ”.
Attempt to stop tax on the rich
The Productive Council of Córdoba had a virtual meeting on Thursday afternoon with the opposition deputies of Together for Change and awaited confirmation to meet tomorrow or Tuesday with the Cordovan deputies of the Frente de Todos. They seek to make the last steps to stop the approval of the bill, which would create the ‘Solidarity and Extraordinary Contribution to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic’ and which is disseminated as a ‘tax on the rich’. This measure has already received the majority opinion in the Chamber of Deputies. “We believe that the damage generated by this tax is greater than the benefit, it discourages private investment and that is where growth is strengthened. The government needs companies to pour the money they have into the productive sector. Whether it comes out depends a lot on the deputies of Federal Peronism, we still do not know what decision they will adopt. We are trying to make them aware because beyond the problems of the government, the productive sector does not have more capacity to continue contributing, “said Marcelo Uribarren. According to private estimates, the tribute would reach 9,000 people and could raise $ 300 billion, about 1.1% of GDP.