Volume 43, Number 171,
October-December 2012
The Third Peronist Government’s Economic Plan.
Gelbard’s Term (1973-1974)
Cecilia Vitto

Out of all of the projects approved between the approval of Law Nº 20.560 for Industrial Promotion and 1983, the majority were during this time period: between 1973 and the installment of the military dictatorship in 1976, 277 presentations were carried out. The majority of these (practically 80%) were during 1974, which makes clear the investment “climate” generated in the framework of this law. In keeping with the objective to provide state support for productive units considered priorities, it is useful to point out the proportion of projects destined towards industries producing intermediate and capital goods (Figure 3).10

Figure 3. Proportion of Promoted Projects Presented between 1973 and March 1976 in the Framework of Law 20.560, Approved between 1973 and 1983, Divided by Industrial Sector (in percentages)
Source: Prepared by the author based on Azpiazu (1986).

Regarding foreign trade, it is useful to point out that although in 1973, Argentina had reached a trade surplus of more than one billion dollars, starting in the third quarter of 1974, the trade balance became a deficit, in part due to abrupt changes in the international scene. The significant increase in imports during this time period was fundamentally associated with an increase in import prices, as a result of changes to the global economic context (in 1974, imports measured in quantities grew only 7%), which made clear a certain dependence on imports of inputs produced abroad for the country’s industrial activities to function. However, the year closed with a positive trade balance, although it was much lower than the previous year (us$295 million).

Likewise, it is useful to analyze foreign trade in the framework of the government’s proposal, particularly the government’s efforts to incentivize industrial exports. In the framework of changing the “short cycle,” industrial exports grew at rates much higher than total foreign sales during the second stage of substitution industrialization. Between 1964 and 1975, the participation of exports of manufactured goods of industrial origin (mio) grew 12 percentage points, and came to represent 20% of the total. It is significant that the greatest growth of mios occurred in the time period corresponding to the third Peronist government. Because of this, it could be concluded that — in the incentive framework for exports during the second stage of substitution industrialization — this export stimulus policy was relatively successful in terms of the significant dynamism achieved. Industrial exports saw their greatest growth in 1974 when they grew at a rate that doubled the total of foreign sales, in spite of this year’s meager performance, as previously indicated (Vitto, 2010: 91).

10 Still, given the previously indicated evolution of the sector product, and in close relation to the evolution of consumption and income distribution, it can be said that the production of mass consumer goods was much more dynamic than the “strategic” goods to which the government sought to give priority with promotional projects.

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PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 49, Number 194 July-September 2018 is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
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