official optimism due to swap extension, more disbursements and infrastructure agreements

official optimism due to swap extension, more disbursements and infrastructure agreements

Times are speeding up. The shortage of foreign exchange puts in check the increasingly precarious exchange rate stability. The Government seeks by all possible means to strengthen the reserves of the Central Bank and China, the second largest economy in the entire planet, could offer a series of tools to moderate the impact of the drought on the holdings of the monetary entity in the short term term.

Massa’s schedule

Massa’s schedule will be intense. This same Tuesday, a few minutes after arriving in Shanghai, he will have a meeting with executives from the Gezhouba Group, the company in charge of building the dams Kirchner and Cepernic. As Ámbito was able to confirm with sources familiar with the negotiations, the minister is very close to getting disbursements of close to US$1,000 million accelerated.

The key instrument to obtain these funds is the signing of addendum 12 that contemplates a series of modifications in the initial engineering of the works, the complications caused by the pandemic in terms and the financing scheme, among others. As soon as he took office at the Palacio de Hacienda, Massa set himself the goal of reactivating the inflow of funds that had been paralyzed in 2021. At that time, the work was being supported with Treasury resources. Last month he announced a first advance for US$500 million and now they hope to go one step further.

The most relevant chapter on the financial front will take place in Beijing, in a meeting with the head of the People’s Bank of China, in which the president of the BCRA, Miguel Pesce, will also participate. Argentina will seek to renew the current currency swap and expand the “free availability” tranche. That is, the amount of yuan (so far the equivalent of US$5 billion) that can be used to pay for imports without having to shell out dollars.

A senior official who works on the issue and is already installed in China confirmed to this medium that the negotiations are advanced and that the expansion could add between US$3,000 and 4,000 million. That would bring the total to close to US$8 billion, a figure similar to the trade red they estimate for this year with China.

projects in folder

In February 2022, after a summit between the presidents Alberto Fernandez and Xi JinpingArgentina announced its accession to the Silk Road, the infrastructure megaproject that the Asian country promotes in the world. Within this framework, a series of initiatives that are classified as “priority” began to be discussed. It is expected that this list will be formalized with the signature of Massa.

There are several projects that are even already written and as revealed to Ámbito “only the signatures are missing”. There appear electrical networks for the AMBA, the expansion of the Cauchari solar park and even a new section of the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline.

Chinese interest in Argentine resources is indisputable. Energy, food and lithium are the sectors that are at the top of conversations with officials and companies on each tour. The mentors of this tour assure that, this time, they will not return “empty-handed”.

Source: Ambito

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