Our companies have been affected by the 2001-2002 crisis: devaluation and price freezing have called into question the ambitious long-term investment plans that had been decided before the crisis, in a stable monetary parity (peso/dollar) framework. After considering renegotiating their contracts, several groups have sought international arbitration (Argentina was finally sentenced by the ICSID to pay €200 million to Vivendi in August 2010 and a dozen disputes are pending before that body). In a few cases, our companies have ceased operations in Argentina (banking groups; Suez).
France remains one of the largest foreign investors in Argentina (FDI stock at €1.5 billion in 2009, compared to €4.9 billion in 2000; 8th place), and some 200 French companies are located or represented there. The French presence is significant in several areas: agribusiness (Danone, Lesaffre, Louis Dreyfus), automotive (PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault), hydrocarbon production (Total), distribution (Carrefour, Casino), tourism and hotels (Accor), health (Sanofi Aventis, Servier…), cosmetics (L’Oreal, Pierre Fabre), and transport (Alstom). It represents 65,000 direct jobs. The resolution underway for private (“hold outs”) and public (Paris Club) debt should restore Argentina’s access to credit and lead to resuming our investments.
Fourth market for our exports to Latin America in 2009, Argentina has absorbed 8.7% of our sales in this region, behind Brazil (32.4%), Mexico (17.2%), and Colombia (11.1%). It is our 4th largest trading partner in Latin America and contributes 7.9% of our trade flows with the area. France is the 2nd largest European supplier for Argentina, behind Germany and maintains a trade surplus with that country (positive balance of €174 million in 2009).
Updated on 22.02.12