Southern Exposure

Desde as Entranhas dos Labirintos Latinos.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Last week in Argentina...

The Budget Law for 2004: The Senate approved the Budget Law for 2004. Giving the executive branch ample powers to administrate public finances, it assumes a GDP growth of 4% for the year, a conservative figure given this year's 7.3% growth estimate (of course, rebounds are always easier than further growth...).

A record touristic season is expected: For this summer, Buenos Aires' tourism authorities are expecting more than one and a half million visitors, an absolute record for the city.

It's hard to overstate the impact that tourism has had upon the city's human landscape since the currency devaluation a few years ago. I live and work a few blocks away from the Obelisco (the walking distance commute is great), and I constantly see people from all over the world (specially Europe and North America) walking around, photographing everything and -what's most critical for the economy- shopping everything featuring a gaucho, made of leather or with some silver local-looking thingie on it. Despite being a nation of inmigrants, and perhaps because of the inmigration wave from our Latin American neighbords in the '90s, Argentina wasn't traditionally a country with the tradition or infrastructure to receive large numbers of visitors. I mean, even the locals have to keep an eye open for scamming taxi drivers! But things have improved incredibly during the last years, as both business and the government have identified tourism as one of the main strategic sources of growth for the country.

Finally, in sport news Boca Juniors won the local soccer championship, the twentieth in the club's history.



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