Argentina's bussiness leadership and its role
in economic development
Juan E. Santarcángelo and Guido Perrone

Contrary to the trend in the 1990s (when there was growth but no employment generated) these high growth rates had a heavy impact on employment and a change can be perceived in those sectors driving expansion in the economy. This can be seen clearly by analyzing growth in productivity of major sectors (Figure 1.)

As can be seen, the changes from the Convertibility Regime to the post-Convertibility era are substantial. From 2003 to 2009, not only are there major average increases in growth, but also the expansion drivers are tied to the production of goods, in particular the manufacturing industry.7 While growth rates in the services sector, the most dynamic sector in the 1990s, double the average pace of expansion they showed during the Convertibility period, the relative importance of this sector changes radically and in the current decade it becomes the sector that grows the least.

Figure 1. Growth Rate By Product in Selected Sectors
1991 -2009
Source: Prepared by the authors on the basis of data supplied by indec and the Ministry of the Economy

Business leaders were not exempt from these changes. A first approximation of this phenomenon can be seen by examining the progress of a number of leading companies for each economic activity. As can be seen in Table 1, about 60% of leading companies are linked with manufacturing industry, and there is no change in terms of number of companies with the 2002 devaluation. This figure shows that despite large growth in industry during these years, no new manufacturing companies are added to the group of 500 largest companies, though as we will see in the next section, the composition of industrial leadership has changed in terms of the process of value added by activity.

7 It is important to note that in 2010, the product growth rate is 9.16% where the manufacturing industry and goods-producing sectors show higher than average growth rates.