NEW YORK, Sept 19 U.S. industrial conglomerate
General Electric Co will invest $10 billion in Argentina over
the next decade, Vice Chairman John Rice said on Monday, the
latest foreign company to announce new plans since President
Mauricio Macri took office.
GE has already invested $1.2 billion alongside local
partners and customers in the past four months, the company said
in a statement, including $900 million to build thermal power
plants and a $280 million loan to state-run airline Aerolineas
Argentinas to finance the purchase of seven airplanes.
Nearly 2,000 executives from dozens of countries attended a
government-sponsored forum in Buenos Aires last week aimed at
building confidence businesses need to invest in Argentina.
At the forum, German engineering group Siemens AG
said it would help create investments and provide financing for
$5.6 billion in infrastructure projects, including gas-fired
GE said its investment will help build seven power plants
that will add around 1 gigawatt to the country's electric
system. The figure includes the $350 million GE has already
decided to invest alongside state-controlled oil company YPF
to build plants in the Neuquen and Tucuman provinces.
Macri won the presidency last year after promising to open
Argentina's economy to foreign investment. Companies generally
speak enthusiastically about his policies, but many are hesitant
to invest because of Argentina's notoriously volatile politics
and economic crises.
"When we saw the Argentinian people elect President Macri,
and we looked at the leadership team that he assembled, we saw a
real tipping point," Rice said.
Rice was speaking at an event held by the Financial Times
newspaper in New York, where Macri is traveling this week to
attend the United Nations General Assembly.
(Reporting by Dion Rabouin in New York; Writing by Luc Cohen)