January 21, 2018
Saturday, March 8, 2014

Gov’t meets with UIA

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, sitting at the head of the table, attends a meeting with leaders of the Argentina Industrial Union (left) and government ministers (right) yesterday at the Olivos presidential residence. The meeting with UIA comes after its head Héctor Méndez (sitting to the immediate left of the president) voiced concern about the current economic situation.
Price hikes and trade with Brazil on top of the list

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and several government officials met yesterday with board members of the Argentine Industrial Union (UIA), headed by its President Héctor Méndez, with a wide agenda of issues that included wage negotiations, trade with Brazil, a drop in industrial production and car sales.

Méndez said he attended the meeting with “a list of issues to work together with the government,” all of which “can be solved.” At the same time the head of UIA said at a press conference that discussed at the meeting were “the future challenges” of the industrial sector and the responsibility of business leaders in establishing prices of goods and services.

“We didn’t come here to obtain something but to bring a list of issues we need to work on together,” Méndez said.

Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said “several issues” were discussed such as “profits of businessmen and prices of products.” Kicillof said meetings will continue in the upcoming weeks. Industry Minister Débora Giorgi said that the challenge was to search for new markets “due to Brazil’s lower economic growth.”

Méndez arrived at the Olivos presidential residence with the head of FIAT Cristiano Ratazzi, UIA Vice-President José Urtubey and several other UIA members. The delegation was greeted by prominent government officials, including Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich, Kicillof, Labour Minister Carlos Tomada and Federal Planning Minister Julio de Vido.

After the meeting, Urtubey said a “positive debate” had taken place between both parties. A wide variety of issues were discussed, he said. Urtubey added that “there’s a mutual interest on achieving normal economic growth” and he anticipated that the government will meet next week with auto industry executives amid concern about sluggish sales after January’s devaluation of the peso.

Méndez expressed his concern about the slow process involved in obtaining affidavits to import and the upcoming wage negotiations. He also said he was worried about the drop in trade with Brazil and in car sales. On the government side, officials told Méndez there are no reasons that justify the current price hikes by several industrial sectors.

Méndez was elected as the head of the Argentine Industrial Union in May last year and has voiced criticism of the government’s economic policies. The UIA head had been asking to meet with government officials to discuss the current economic outlook.

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