Buenos Aires Times

argentina TRIP TO UNITED STATES

Macri hammers home his message to investors in NYC

President uses trip to charm investors, calls for oil embargo on Venezuela.

Saturday 11 November, 2017
President Mauricio Macri meets with Stephen Schwarzman, CEO and founder of the Blackstone Group.
President Mauricio Macri meets with Stephen Schwarzman, CEO and founder of the Blackstone Group. Foto:Presidency

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President Mauricio Macri made a highprofile timely trip to New York this week, during which he remembered the slain Argentine victims of last week’s terror attack and attempted to convince investors to back him with financing. Macri joined New York Mayor Bill de Blasio at the site of the tragic event for an emotional remembrance service on Monday, at which he spoke, laid flowers and offered his support to the United States in the battle against terrorism. On the same day, the bodies of the five victims were flown to Buenos Aires, before heading onto Rosario.

The original focus of the trip had been somewhat different. The president had intended to use his previously scheduled two-day visit to try and convince interested parties to invest in Argentina. He also had meetings scheduled with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres – during which he called for an oil embargo to be slapped on the nation – and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Macri said it was time for the world to take a stance on Venezuela., “I think we should go to a full oil embargo,” Macri said. “Things have gotten worse and worse. Now, it’s really a painful situation. Poverty is going up every day.”

The president’s other main message came across pure and simple and investors were the target of it. Speaking to Clarín soon after his arrival, the president declared that “Argentina is the best opportunity investors will find.” During his visit, Macri met with a series of entrepreneurs and executives, including Andrew Liveris, director of the Dow Chemical, Elaine D. Freeney, vice-president for global infrastructure and expansion at Amazon, and Blackstone CEO and founder Stephen Schwarzmann. In a series of carefully picked interviews, the president also spoke with major outlets including Reuters, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, as well as holding a 30-minute interview with US journalist Charlie Rose at an event at the Council of the Americas.

Macri also told Bloomberg he was ready to run for a second term as president, and called for the Mercosur trade bloc to do more. But he acknowledged his reform push was in a precarious position. “We are vulnerable, because we need financing; arguing against that is stupid,” Macri said. However, “we have the best potential, compared with all the others. I am ready to continue if the citizens indicate that they want me to continue running the country.”


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