Key areas of Argentine economy that elections could affect
Nov. 20, 2015
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A look at some key areas of Argentina's economy, which is the third largest in Latin America:
AGRICULTURE: Much of the land in Argentina, which is roughly four times the size of Texas, is among the world's most fertile, but the export-oriented agriculture sector accounts for only 8 percent of the country's $540 billion GDP. Farmers say 35 percent export taxes and heavy bureaucracy stunt the industry.
EXCHANGE RATES: The government artificially sets the official exchange rate against other currencies. Over the last year, it's been roughly 9 Argentine pesos to $1, but on the black market a dollar brings 15 to 16 pesos. The parallel rates create distortions in the economy.
ENERGY: According to 2013 assessment by U.S. Energy Information Administration, the "Vaca Muerta" formation in southwestern Argentina potentially holds 16.2 billion barrels of oil and 308 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Argentina's YPF, Chevron and other companies are investing billions to develop wells.
FOREIGN DEBT: Argentina's external debt is about 26 percent of GDP. That's a relatively small ratio for similarly sized economies, meaning Argentina could potentially take on more debt to finance projects, but access to international credit markets is hindered by unresolved court fight with bondholders in U.S.