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Argentina

Basic Information

Area: 2,780,4032 km²

Calling code: +54

Population: 40,677,348

Official Language: Spanish

Time zone: ART (UTC-3), Local time: 00:49

Overview

Argentina is the second largest country in South America and is bordered by Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. The vast majority of the countries coastline is on the Atlantic Ocean with a small proportion on the Southern Ocean facing the Antarctic around a 1000 kilometres distant. In the north the Tropic of Capricorn intersects the provinces of Jujuy and Salta.

In mid 2007 the CIA World Factbook estimated Argentina's population to be just over 40 million a high percentage of which are descended from Spanish and Italian lineage. Also the Factbook goes on to say, "Argentina benefits from rich natural resources and a highly literate population".

The Argentine capital, Buenos Aires is located in the east of the country on the southern shores of the River Plate facing Uruguay on the north side of the river, around 50 kilometres distant. Buenos Aires is an autonomous city in Buenos Aires province, although La Plata is the provincial capital. Apart from its administrative, commercial and industrial importance within Argentina, Buenos Aires is also the countries main import/export hub.

Economy

Argentina, around a century ago was among the wealthiest countries in the world, but by the end of the twentieth century Argentina's economy was at best a shambles. It was not until the start of the new millennium that Argentina began to regain it's footing on the road to recovery, albeit with a few stumbling blocks. Successive administrations, since around the turn of the 21st century, through strict fiscal measures have re-ignited the economy. According to the CIA World factbook, between 2003 and 2006, real growth of the countries GDP averaged 9%, thereby keeping the budget in surplus. The IMD World Competitiveness Scoreboard 2007 ranks Argentina in 51st position out of 55 countries surveyed globally.

The economy of Buenos Aires has traditionally revolved around trading. Nowadays however, the service and financial sectors have increased in importance to the city putting Buenos Aires among the leading financial centres in South America. Manufacturing and industry also contribute to the cities economic makeup. Not only homegrown financial and industrial companies are to be found in Buenos Aires, but also, large foreign banks such as Citibank and HSBC have offices in Buenos Aires and Ford, Mercedes, Renault and Toyota have vehicle production facilities around the city.

According to the World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC), Buenos Aires is a Gamma World City (Minor World City), as defined by a number of indicators such as familiarity of name, active influence and participation in international events and world affairs, a lively cultural scene, the presence of large foreign companies and an advanced communications infrastructure. Other well-known cities within the same classification include a number of European cities, such as Barcelona, Berlin and Copenhagen as well as other cities around the globe.

Standard Of Living

Buenos Aires enjoys one of South America's highest standards of living and at the same time having one of the world's lowest costs of living. In the 2007 Quality of Life City Rankings Survey, produced by consultants William M. Mercer, Buenos Aires is placed 79th out of 215 cities from around the world on the basis of a number of political, social, economic and environmental factors. Of the 22 cities in continental South and Central America in the survey only Montevideo in Uruguay was in a higher position at 76th place. Additionally the Mercer Human Resource Cost of Living Survey 2006 ranks Buenos Aires in 142nd position out of 144 cities world wide, with a score of 54.8. New York is the median for the index, in 10th place (100) Moscow was in 1st place (123.9). As a country overall Argentina fares well in the United Nations Development Program's (UNDP) 2006 Human Development Index Rankings, coming in at a respectable 36th place out of 177 countries worldwide.

Infrastructure

2 airports, Ezeiza International Airport and the Jorge Newbery City airport, serve Buenos Aires. Ezeiza is around 22 kilometres southwest of the city and according to Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, handles 90% of Argentina's international air traffic. Jorge Newbery is located just 2 Kilometres from downtown on land recovered from the River Plate and is chiefly used for domestic flights. Ezeiza Airport has links to many destinations in North and South America, Europe as well as destinations in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia.

There are somewhere in the region of 40 ports in Argentina, three of which are in Buenos Aires province. The Port of Buenos Aires deals all types of cargo and can handle a container throughput in excess of 1 million TEU's (Twenty foot Equivalent Units) per year.

The Metro system (Subte) in Buenos Aires opened in late 1913 and has grown to cover a reasonable proportion of the city, along with the suburban railway and light rail the city is relatively easy to navigate. Extensions and improvements to the Subte are ongoing with completion of current works expected by 2010. The city is also accessible by an extensive bus network of over 140 routes.

Workforce

In 2006 the World Factbook estimated the Argentine workforce to be in the region of 15.76 million with the services accounting for 55.6% of GDP, industry 35.9% and agriculture 8.5%.

Argentina's reputation of having a highly literate population is not surprising given that UNESCO's Education For All Global Monitoring Report in 2005 placed Argentina in 23rd place from 127 countries regarding the Dakar Educational Framework. In Buenos Aires alone there are number of universities providing world-class graduates to take their places in Argentina's workforce.

Business Costs

According to a report published by the commercial real estate services firm, CB Richard Ellis, in 2007, the total average occupation cost for offices in Buenos Aires is $42.11 USD per square foot per annum - this is below the average cost in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil at $55.03 USD and $49.58 USD respectively. Caracas in Venezuela was $50.17 USD and the remaining South and Latin America were lower.
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