IMF’s Gita Gopinath will visit Argentina

The lender announced on X that its number-two policymaker will discuss the country's challenges and potential with government officials

International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesperson Julie Kozack announced on X that the lender’s First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath will be traveling to Argentina this week “to hear about Argentina’s difficult economic and social challenges as well as its vast potential.” The IMF has been supportive of President Javier Milei’s austerity measures and Gopinath’s visit is the latest in a series of government-lender meetings since his inauguration. 

An IMF spokesperson confirmed to the Herald that Gopinath will meet with Milei’s economic team, academics, civil society organizations, and the private sector. She is set to arrive on Wednesday, her visit coinciding with that of United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken.

It’s the second time this year that IMF representatives will have visited Argentina, with IMF staff landing in Buenos Aires in early January and reaching a staff-level agreement for a US$4.7-billion disbursement which was later approved by the IMF board. A new payment schedule was also reached, with other disbursements expected in May (US$800 million), August (US$532 million), and November (US$550 million). 

Days after the approval of January’s US$4.7-billion disbursement, the Fund revised its forecast for Argentina’s economy down by a startling 5.6 percentage points, estimating that GDP will shrink by 2.8 points in 2024 in its World Economic Outlook report

Reuters has also reported that the last programmed review of Argentina’s US$44 billion loan was also deferred by two months, giving the government more time to apply reforms and potentially negotiate a new program. The IMF and countries are subject to a schedule of reviews on progress, that once signed off by the Fund’s executive board, trigger the disbursement of tranches of financing.

Milei met with Gopinath and IMF Head Kristalina Georgieva at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 17, alongside Economy Minister Luis Caputo, Chief of Staff Nicolás Posse, Argentina’s Ambassador to the United States Gerardo Werthein and Secretary General Karina Milei, who is also the president’s sister. Milei said that the meeting went “spectacularly well.”
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