The Argentine Brand – Not just for cattle
Argentina’s role as a middle power in the world was reinforced by our inclusion in the G-20, butthere are certain factors that are challenging this status quo. The rise of our neighbor and partner Brazil is the most obvious one, since it is marginalizing some of our legitimacy as a leading voicefor the region. A secondary reason is the rise of other “middle” powers at a global level that are ableto capture share of voice in international organizations like the WTO or the UN. A tertiary, althoughnot important factor, is the perception in the West of Argentina as an intransigent, pettish globalactor. From my studies at SAIS, and from my interactions at the IDB, I have come to understandthat the international perception of our brand is one of fiscal irresponsibility and political unreality.And while many Argentines would argue that we have a commodity-based economy defined by booms and busts, foreigners would view it as mismanagement of booms leading to politicalextremism during busts. Nonetheless, we have many positive brand characteristics at an international level, some of whichinclude: Argentina as a social and economic exception within Latin America, Buenos Aires as acapital of culture, fashion and design, and our countryside as a fountain of first-rate food and drink products. We have the chance to build on these softer powers in the West where we are a knownquantity, but the more exciting chance is to improve our perception in Asia and particularly China.Fortunately for us, the world economic order is changing quickly, and now is our time to positionourselves within the emerging one. Although this may seem like a daunting task, the fundamentalsof this new order are very favorable to Argentina. This is why I implore you to take up the task withthe same courage and optimism as Cristina and the great patriot Néstor took on the task of rebuilding our economy from its gravest crisis.