BUENOS AIRES – The Argentine government met with authorities of the Argentine Industrial Union, or UIA, to explain the extent of the accords signed by President Cristina Fernandez on her trip to China, which had caused concern among the largest employers’ association in the country.
The head of the UIA, Hector Mendez, told a press conference Thursday that he was “extremely satisfied” because the meeting with the government allowed business owners and executives to “clear up their doubts.”
“Bringing the different interested parties together to discuss the matter was a sign of goodwill,” Mendez said as he left the meeting.
Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said “the government will make officials in all areas available for meetings with technicians and authorities of the UIA” about any doubts the accords might raise.
Also taking part in the meeting were Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich and Planning Minister Julio De Vido, Labor Minister Carlos Tomada and Industry Minister Debora Giorgi.
Last Tuesday the UIA expressed in a communique its concern about some points of the accords that directly award Chinese companies a number of infrastructure projects in Argentina.
In reply, Kicillof said Thursday that “the agreement does not bypass Argentine immigration law nor any labor law that protects workers’ rights,” nor, he added, “have any laws regulating foreign investment and government contracts been modified.”
The Argentine president defended last Wednesday the accords of economic cooperation and investment signed with the Asian nation and said that on her visit to China last week, important commitments for investment in strategic sectors were obtained.
The pacts signed will be enacted once the cooperation accord is ratified next Feb. 25 by the Argentine legislature.