(For other news from Reuters Latin America Investment Summit, click here)
By Nicolás Misculin and Caroline Stauffer
BUENOS AIRES, Aug 8 (Reuters) – President Mauricio Macri told Reuters on Tuesday investments in Argentina would multiply after what he predicted will be a triumph for his Let’s Change Coalition in October’s mid-term elections.
While Macri said his allies would win “by a lot” nationwide, he admitted polls showed a tight race between his party’s candidate and former left-wing populist President Cristina Fernandez for a Senate seat in Buenos Aires province, the country’s largest.
In an interview during the Reuters Latin America Investment Summit, Macri said the economy was picking up steam and would grow 4.5 percent in the last quarter of 2017, while growth of 4 percent next year would help lower the fiscal deficit.
“Once we confirm Argentines’ vocation for change this (the investments) will multiply several more times,” he said just five days before mid-term primary elections.
Macri said that neighboring Brazil had “raised the bar” by passing a comprehensive labor reform but that Argentina would stay competitive and lower costs by negotiating labor deals with individual sector unions.
Macri, whose election in late 2015 ended more than a decade of leftist rule in Argentina, said he was growing increasingly frustrated with the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela under socialist leader Nicolas Maduro.
“I don’t know how that man sleeps at night with the number of deaths on his shoulders,” Macri said.
Macri said he looked forward to discussing trade and investment opportunities with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during his visit next week. Argentina is working with other countries on a specific security regime for the G20 summit to be held in late October or early November of 2018, he said.
Macri said he was open to standing for re-election but that the country’s next presidential vote in 2019 was a long way out and not his current priority.
Follow Reuters Summits on Twitter @Reuters_Summits (Reporting by Nicolas Misculin and Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Tom Brown)