Thursday, April 7, 2011


On February 24, 2011 Argentina's President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, announced her government’s National Strategic Industrialization Plan—2020. During the announcement Argentina's El Cronista reported that President Fernandez de Kirchner said her country would pursue it's own path, arguing that "the free market, as it is taught and preached to us from [foreign] power centers, doesn't exist."

More directly President Fernandez de Kirchner added: "The myth of the free market has to end."

Within that context President Fernandez de Kirchner laid out Argentina's goals for 2020:

* An average annual growth rate of 5 percent.

* Doubling annual industrial exports from $68.5 billion in 2010 to $136 billion in 2020.

* Increasing the nation's GDP from $356 billion in 2010 to $580.7 billion, while raising per capita income from $8,700 to $12,900 per year.

To reach these goals President Fernandez de Kirchner rejected the notion that Argentina had to respect the tightly wound free market framework advanced by the financial power centers of the world.

As a point of reference, she contrasted Argentina's experiences before and after the free market mania of the 1990s. Specifically, she pointed out that since 2003 five million new industrial jobs have been created in Argentina, along with 140,000 new companies. This contrasts with the 50,000 businesses and factories that were shut down during the height of the free market in the 1990s.

Drawing from this experience - and striking an economic nationalist tone - President Feranandez de Kirchner said that it was her country’s right to industrialize on it's own terms, and to protect both the industry and workers who contribute to its advancement.

Citing the need to protect domestic industry from unfair competition, Industry Minister Debora Giorgi added 200 more products to a list of imports that would no longer be granted automatic licenses, bringing the total to 600.

At what point do you think Washington will stop accommodating Wall Street (and playing their petty parlor games), and wake up to the realities of our changing world?

- Mark

P.S. For additional news on Argentina, click here (it's in Spanish).

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