Economy Minister Sergio Massa met today with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath in Washington D.C. to discuss the lender’s fourth review of Argentina’s economic program.
Both Massa and Gopinath called the meeting “good.”
“We analyzed the impact of the drought in the country and the clearance of the pesos debt maturity curve was appreciated,” Massa said in a tweet.
The meeting happened hours before Argentine president Alberto Fernández met with his American counterpart, Joe Biden. Massa and Gopinath also met ahead of the IMF’s board meeting about Argentina’s Extended Fund Facility Arrangement’s fourth review, which was approved at staff-level two weeks ago.
The government and the IMF signed an Extended Fund Facility agreement in 2022 after renegotiating the US$44 billion debt former President Mauricio Macri acquired in 2018. The deal includes an economic program that Argentina must comply with in order to receive disbursements or payments every three months, which are used to pay for the previous debt with the IMF.
If the board approves the fourth review, the IMF will disburse US$ 5.3 billion to the country, which it will use to pay back to the lender.
Argentina is seeking for the IMF to relax the country’s reserve accumulation goal amid an ongoing historic drought, which the Rosario Grains Exchange estimates will clip the country’s gross domestic product in 2023 by US$19 billion. The IMF is however expected to uphold the fiscal deficit goal of 1.9% of the GDP despite lower tax revenue and higher spending due to the pension moratorium.
Two weeks ago, the IMF staff recommended that the board relax the reserve target, but the IMF board ultimately decides whether or not to approve the staff’s recommendations.
“Discussed the fourth review of the program, the severe impact of the drought and importance of actions to boost reserves and continue to sustainably mobilize domestic financing,” Gopinath tweeted.
Massa said that they both shared “the government’s decision to keep moving forward with measures that boost exports with the goal of increasing reserves.”
The Minister was joined by his chief advisor Leonardo Madcur and the Customs head Guillermo Michel.