GLOBAL SPOTLIGHT ARGENTINA
Geographically, Argentina is the second largest country in South America. It has a population of 34.6 million.
Following years of poor economic performance and serious inflationary problems, Argentina began a significant period of economic restructuring in 1989. The changes brought forth in Argentina included trade liberalization, which subjected the country to the rigors of world market competition. State-owned companies were also privatized and inflation was brought under control. These measures initially brought about a serious recession.
By the mid-1990's, Argentina had recovered and is now experiencing a boom in economic growth. In 1997, the GDP growth rate reached 8.1%, but is expected to slow to between 4% and 5% through 2002.
This renewed economic strength has spurred new investments in Argentina's industrial infrastructure. The flow of direct foreign investment, averaging $3.5 billion annually from 1990 to 1995, surpassed $6 billion in 1997. Imports and exports have risen steadily.
U.S. Trade with Argentina
million US dollars
One of the fastest growing market sectors for U.S. exports to Argentina is medical equipment. In
1997, the total market size for medical equipment was about $400 million U.S. dollars and imports accounted for $210 million of this total. The U.S. supplied 71% or $150 million of these imports.
In 1998, the total market for medical equipment in Argentina is projected to grow to $445 million. Argentina is expected to reach an import level of $260 million, of which 71%, or $185 million, will come from the U.S. Exporters from the U.S. have typically faced little competition from local medical equipment suppliers. Argentina has also lowered many trade barriers in order to attract more high technology medical equipment imports. The U.S. should continue its dominance of this particular market.