Minister of Economy Sergio Massa’s Visit to Brazil: Strengthening Economic Measures and BRICS Membership

2023-08-27 23:08:52

After announcing a series of economic measures that the government will implement to improve the situation of different sectors of society that were affected by the devaluation and the loss of purchasing power, the Minister of Economy and UXP presidential candidate Sergio Massa leaves for Brasilia. . The candidate will meet in the neighboring country this Monday at 5:00 p.m. with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, after Argentina joined the Brics. He will also hold a meeting with his peer, the Brazilian Economy Minister Fernando Haddad –at 2:00 p.m.– with whom he would advance an agreement that allows the country to pay for its imports through the swap agreed with China, among other things. issues.

The central objective of reaching an agreement of these characteristics will be, among other things, to improve the situation of the resources in dollars available at the Central Bank, in a complex context. This was explained by Massa himself, when last week from Washington he announced at a press conference that he would travel to Brazil: “We will be traveling to Brazil to further ease the procedure for using reserves, at a time when we have to take care of them,” he remarked in that moment.

Haddad, meanwhile, last week said from South Africa that “we have sent the Argentine government a guarantee proposal in yuan for Brazilian exports,” and then reinforced that the mechanism will be used through a direct conversion of the yuan to the real by part of the state Banco do Brasil, for a total of up to 140 million dollars. “Brazilian exporters can have some flow of sales of their products with 100% guarantee. For Brazil, there is no problem, because the exchange rate will be made with the yuan for the real and this also assures the National Treasury that there is no risk of default,” he said.

As reported by the minister, in the meetings on Monday, in addition to joining the BRICS, work will also be done on the opening of agricultural markets; on issues related to the tender and search for financing for the second stage of the President Néstor Kirchner Gas Pipeline, the section that goes from Salliqueló-San Gerónimo; the Argentina/Brazil strategic agreement on maritime and fluvial transport; in lines of credit from the Bank of Brazil and financing from BNDES for bilateral trade and on works such as the Santo Tomé/São Borja International Bridge and Unified Border Center.

The delegation that accompanies the minister is made up, among others, by the Secretaries of Industry, José Ignacio de Mendiguren; of Agriculture, Juan José Bahillo; Pablo Cleri, from the Central Bank; Flavia Royón, Secretary of Energy; Agustín Gerez, president of ENARSA and also legislators Eduardo Valdés and Cordoba from the Córdoba Federal block, Natalia de la Sota and Alejandro “Topo” Rodríguez, from the Buenos Aires Identity block.

The Argentine ambassador in Brazil, Daniel Scioli, will receive them in Brasilia, where he has been since the day after PASO. After the results, the ambassador returned to Brazil and was carrying out various steps related to the financing of exports. During these weeks he held a meeting with Haddad –before the minister’s trip to South Africa to participate in the Brics summit– and also with Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira, who would participate in the meeting with Massa this Monday. Scioli, after these meetings, made a video call with Massa’s chief adviser, Leonardo Madcur, and with Marco Lavagna, from INDEC, to convey the news to them.

The candidate’s visit to Brazil is special because it occurs in the context of the country’s incorporation into the BRICS bloc made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Something for which the government had been working for years. The help and efforts of Lula da Silva were essential to achieve this. Space represents 24 percent of global GDP, 16 percent of exports, and 15 percent of world imports of goods and services. The photo of Massa and Lula together will also be key. On his return, the Tigrense will put his foot on the accelerator and, for a few days, will rest “the minister’s hat” to shoulder the campaign. He will squarely confront the extreme right-wing libertarian, Javier Milei, with whom he wants to reach the ballotage.

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