Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 SA tycoon Eduardo Eurnekian hailed the potential of the private sector this week as he was given full membership in the Academia Nacional de Ciencias Empresariales (Argentina’s academy for business leaders).
The Corporación América chairman delivered an address on Tuesday after receiving the honour in the presence of various fellow-businessmen, media figures, politicians and diplomats.
True to the “science” in the academy’s name, Eurnekian closed his speech by looking ahead to the technological revolution sweeping the world with the words: "To govern is to robotise."
The businessman underlined the need for all Argentines to be computer-literate, pointing out: “For lack of this vision of the future, we’re expelling our youth to other latitudes.”
The event in Recoleta was organised by businessman Santiago Soldati, who presented the speech of his “great friend” Eurnekian: "An Argentine paradox: parallel lives, countries which diverge.”
The audience included Fiat Chrysler Automobiles president Cristiano Rattazzi, Perfil Network CEO Jorge Fontevecchia and Ambassadors Mark Kent (Britain) and Sergio Danese (Brazil). Other present were AA 2000 executive Matías Patanian, Liliana Parodi, media businessman Daniel Hadad, former Interior minister José Luis Manzano, former Foreign minister Adalberto Rodríguez Giavarini, Argentine Industrial Union (UIA) top brass Miguel Acevedo and Daniel Funes de Rioja, oilman Marcos Bulgheroni, Bolsa stock exchange head Adelmo Gabbi, Rural Society President Daniel Pelegrina, Argentine Chamber of Commerce (CAC) president Jorge Di Fiori, deputy José Ignacio 'Vasco' de Mendiguren, leftist politician Vilma Ripoll, political pundits Juan Bautista “Tata” Yofre and Jorge Asís and the economist Javier Milei, among others.
Academy president Jorge Aufiero gave the new member his medal, occupying (by the newcomer’s choice, according to tradition) the seat of Quilmes brewery founder Otto Sebastián Bemberg, whom Eurnekian praised as "the defender of a state favouring economic development.”
"The businessman as such competes with pure tension, adrenaline and heart – without the protection which makes him relax his efforts and with the creative energies brought by the first immigrants of the 19th century. No doubt, the defence of the right to private initiative rebounds to the benefit of building a country with a healthy economy, as well as promoting the social fabric," continued Eurnekian, who is of Armenian descent.
The billionaire’s speech also criticised the levels of public employment (30 percent above the levels tolerated by the World Bank when combining the totals of national, provincial and municipal governments, he said, quoting Funes de Rioja) and the economic oscillations of the country.
“For 80 años the conceptual failure and imbalance has branded us, wiping out our creative energies, our leadership, drive and hopes of making a better Argentina,” said Eurnekian.
“While the state must take charge of the education of future generations with a co-ordinated action geared to the training of skilled professionals and up to the demands of a highly competitive world, favouring the equality of opportunity, it must be the private sector which opens up the horizon and finds a place for those talents, which, without local stimulus, will seek more propitious pastures where to develop them,” he added.