Alberto calls on business sector to help develop country

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez on Wednesday called on business leaders to join forces to develop the country, saying it has been “ravaged” since March by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We need an Argentina that grows with confidence and with business leaders to develop the country,” Fernandez said via videoconference during the opening of the 56th Colloquium of Argentina’s Institute for Business Development (IDEA).
“We must think of a new system that is much more supportive than the present one,” said Fernandez, noting Argentina’s economy was already “in intensive care when the coronavirus arrived.” Argentina’s economy could shrink by as much as 10.5 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
“We are going to make public works the great engine of the Argentine economy,” said Fernandez.
The president listed development opportunities in the areas of agricultural exports, renewable energies, construction and public works, starting next year.
“Since March, our main urgency has been to rebuild a virtually dismantled healthcare system to ensure that no one is left without healthcare,” Fernandez said. His administration also launched a program that benefited 236,000 companies and 2.5 million workers amid lockdown measures imposed on March 20 to contain the spread of the outbreak, said Fernandez. The lockdown continues through Oct. 25.
Argentina has reported 917,035 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 24,572 deaths from the disease since the first case was detected on March 3.–Agencies