After the understanding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), President Alberto Fernández will start his tour of Russia and China on Tuesday, which will have a stopover in Barbados. It will do so with a delegation of fifteen people in which the presence of the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, stands out, whose participation was confirmed in recent days. Much of the main expectations of the trip are aimed at obtaining alternative financing, as the IMF team itself suggested and made it known in its statement this Friday. There it was stated that, as part of the understanding with the country, it had been “agreed that additional financial support from Argentina’s international partners would help strengthen the country’s external resilience and its efforts to ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth.”
“These negotiations are taking place”, assured a high official of the Executive to The nation. Faced with the expectations that there could be regarding news on this trip around the possible extension of the swap (exchange of currencies to reinforce local reserves), with China, or a loan of special drawing rights (SDR, money from the IMF) for part of Russia, one of those consulted explained that He did not believe that this type of agreement would be closed on this trip, but he did “surely” help in the negotiations and arouse interest”.
While they differentiated that the possibility of materializing the issue of the swap “it is closer because the mechanism is already there and what is being negotiated is to expand it and expand functionality”. After which he distinguished that the possibility of SDRs with Russia “is still difficult”. In the case of China, that its sights are set on the possible extension of loans to strengthen reserves, it was admitted by the two local sources consulted despite the denials on the subject that there were this week. “There is no official information, but there is management for an expansion of reserves. It is important to normalize the situation and everything that helps is welcome, “said one of the sources.
While the other expectation is in what may happen in the first leg of the tour, in the visit to Moscow, where the issue of a possible transfer of SDRs, an international reserve asset created by the IMF to complement the official reserves of the member countries. However, the sources consulted mentioned the difficulty that could arise at the moment because The Resilience and Sustainability Fund (FRS) is not yet in force, the mechanism through which the member countries of the organization will voluntarily channel SDRs from the richest countries to the poorest and most vulnerable.
Executive sources explained that although it is not yet in force, it is expected to be in the short term. That’s where the leftover SDRs would go and “Countries like Argentina could use them to have possibilities to improve their payments and rebuild the strength of reserves”. One of the sources added that “the logical thing would be for DEG’s contribution to be via the resilience fund, not through bilateral agreements,” referring to the dialogue with Moscow. After which he also added that the expectation with Russia is in “the relationship at the commercial and investment level.”
Fernandez will leave this Tuesday and on Thursday he will have his first face-to-face bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. They will share a lunch and after that they will give a press conference. A day later he will arrive in China, where he will participate in the opening of the Winter Olympics, which were boycotted by the United States in opposition to Beijing’s human rights policy.
There he will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday at the Great Hall of the People. At the Chinese stop, the sights are set on Argentina joining the so-called new “Silk Road”. It is a megaproject of infrastructure works against a backdrop of billions of dollars that the Chinese government has around the planet in order to consolidate its global power. A large part of the Asian countries have already joined, some from Europe and in America Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela have already joined.
The point generated distrust regarding the possible opinion of the US government, against the Chinese advance in the region. But now, with the understanding with the Fund faced, he decompressed the pressure. While, second readings, they also mentioned the importance of the point agreed with the Fund regarding the possibility that Argentina join forces with its partners to improve its situation. After China, Fernández and his entourage will stop in Barbados. a last-minute stop on the Caribbean island where Fernández will have a dialogue on issues related to the climate crisis and his presidential role in CELAC.