It may seem like a message that falls from obvious and even passes without pain or glory. But in their rounds with candidates and officials, executives and some business owners at Idea tell them, "We need you." In these times with the emerging Javier Milei who lashes out at the "caste", they decided to give a signal. In Idea, born 63 years ago, they think that public affairs are built on the basis of solid political parties, institutions and agreements.
This year, Idea (Institute for Business Development of Argentina), which covers the 500 leading firms and is in turn a diverse association by the size of the companies and the origin of their capital, will break the mold. Not only did they appoint a woman as president for the first time. They also anticipated the date of their annual colloquium.
Its board of directors, of 35 senior executives and among which 12 women, unanimously chose Paula Altavilla who directs in the country, Uruguay and Paraguay the destiny of the French Schneider Electric. And they advanced the date of their annual colloquium, for October 4, 5 and 6, always in Mar del Plata.
Daniel González (executive director of IDEA) with Daniel Herrero from Toyota and Roberto Murchison from the logistics group.
It will be held after the PASO and before the general elections on October 22 and will parade in days of great expectation, the defeated and the newcomers. The Colloquium will be chaired by Santiago Mignone, CEO of Price Waterhouse, and will have an axis based on the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the return of democracy.
In a scenario that looks even more turbulent, about 60 CEOs divided into different cells work on several axes. Daniel González, the executive director of Idea, sums it up: "We are going to deal with main issues: taxes; public spending and how to achieve fiscal balance; and job creation, which is where we will have to get out of poverty. It will take place in the framework of the anniversary of 40 years of democracy. We aim for a social agreement of stability of the rules of the game and macroeconomic stability, which allows us economic development. We seek to leverage those dynamic systems of Argentina, such as the knowledge economy, energy and mining and agribusiness." According to González, "it is a function of the size of the opportunity, which is so great that it is worth making sacrifices, that you see the light at the end of the tunnel."
Alberto Fernández at the Idea Colloquium in Mar del Plata. This year he will be one of the guests.
In Idea's vision, the problem is not the dollar. In 2022 in the expectations survey executives were asked what was the main obstacle to investment in the country, and the almost unanimous answer was the weakness of institutions and the lack of rules of the game.
Altavilla emphasizes that he notices a change in the discourse of politicians, even in those of different signs. "There is fiscal awareness and it is understood that public accounts must be orderly and that institutions must be strengthened." Altavilla insists on sustainable growth, with education for employment and the transformation of social plans into formal jobs.
Perhaps that is why trade unions will play a key role at the October colloquium. The most important union leaders will dialogue among themselves in full view of all.
The role of trade unions
It is a different proposal, says Altavilla, which marks that everyone must sit at the table. "We have a good relationship with the guilds, it's not them or us. From the unions they always emphasize to us that if companies do well, so do our people."
When Altavilla is asked about the concerns raised by foreign investors, the president of Idea, who must report to Paris, confesses: "There is concern about volatility, rule changes, and how the flows of funds abroad and products to the country are affected." And that's what they'll talk about with the PASO winners.