Another avenue that Massa successfully explored was that of multilateral credit organizations. A few hours after taking office, he managed to unravel with the then head of the Inter-American Development Bank, Mauricio Claver Carone, a relationship that was completely paralyzed and that was costing Argentina the delay of some US$4,000 million. Then came new programs from the World Bank and CAF, which also served to swell the reserves.
This year, the commitment to this financing, which usually has interest rates well below those offered by the market, will continue. The latest news, confirmed by Massa during an interview with the newspaper Perfil, is that the Central American Bank for Economic Integration will grant a loan of US$400 million. As this medium was able to confirm with sources from the organization, the disbursements will be made this year in two installments of US$200 million..
The credit assignment will be submitted to the entity’s board of directors for consideration in the coming days, but the negotiation is already sealed. This is an initiative that seeks to fund the costs of the Food Card. “It will ensure the payments of the program for a whole year. It is one of the best initiatives that Argentina has in social matters together with the Universal Child Allowance”explained the source consulted by this medium.
Depending on the program being financed, in some cases part of the dollars disbursed by multilaterals must be used to execute the plan. If it is an infrastructure work that has some imported component, for example. In this case, the program payments are made monthly in pesos to the beneficiaries, without exception. Therefore, the US$400 million will be used entirely to reinforce the reserves of the Central Bank.
In the Government they suggest that during the first half of the year other expected disbursements of multilaterals will be concentrated. The organization that will contribute the most will be the Inter-American Development Bank, some US$1.2 billion. Then a minimum of US$400 million is expected from the World Bankalthough more programs could be added.
The infrastructure will also bring foreign currency. This month the disbursements by China for the Néstor Kirchner and Jorge Cepernic dams were reactivated and the expectation is that from now on the funding will accelerate. Dollars will also arrive for the construction of the second section of the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline that will carry gas from Vaca Muerta to Brazil. CAF would contribute some US$320 million and Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development another US$600 million.
On this last point, there are several ongoing bilateral negotiations so that more robust financial support from the neighboring country is announced during Lula da Silva’s visit to Buenos Aires. From a common currency to trade to a currency swap, through an eventual assignment of Special Drawing Rights. In any case, it is clear that a window is opening for the relationship with the main trading partner to grow in the coming years.
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