Hugo Passalacqua

GOVERNOR OF MISIONES

Argentina 2018  I  Special Regions I  Leader

BIOGRAPHY Born in 1957, he was elected Governor in 2015 for the Front for the Renewal of Concord party, which he was a founding member. He graduated in Social Communication at the University of Buenos Aires. He was previously a Professor at the National University of Misiones and also Vice-governor of the Province of Misiones from 2011 to 2015. 

“MISIONES IS RECOGNIZED BY THE QUALITY OF ITS INDUSTRIAL SECTOR AND WE WANT IT TO GROW FURTHER”

MOODY’S HAS UPGRADED THE CREDIT RATING OF MISIONES WHICH REINFORCE ITS IMAGE OF A RELIABLE PROVINCE. WHAT ARE YOU PRIORITIES CONCERNING FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY?

 

Indeed, Moody’s has improved our credit rating from B3 to B2 -- same than Argentina -- which ensure our province is reliable for investors. Our administration has focused on spending less and more wisely for the benefit of the population, which allows us to get around economic challenges without sacrificing the needs of our people. Last November, the provinces signed a Fiscal Agreement, and in Misiones this consensus established the commitment to reduce some provincial taxes gradually until 2022, beginning with the industry, transport, construction and communications sectors. There are also new rules as the provinces will implement a new Fiscal Responsibility Scheme to avoid levels of over-indebtedness and maintain adequate levels of public employment. Misiones has been applying a sustainable fiscal model for the last 15 years which is vital to sustaining the productive system of our people.

 

MISIONES IS RECOGNIZED AS AN ENTREPRENEURIAL PROVINCE. WHAT IS BEING DONE TO PROMOTE AND FACILITATE NEW ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES?

 

Misiones has an entrepreneurial orientation and has been the pioneer in the country to create a non-profit economic entity. The Misiones Credit Fund aims to promote financial inclusion and productive development offering reduced long-term interest rates and focusing on key sectors such as tourism, transport, telecommunications, health, education and audiovisual. In just one year of existence, we have reached more than 400 approved projects, mostly of young people, with more than $120 million pesos granted in credits that make our real economy grow. Our objectives for 2018 are aimed at strengthening the support processes for each entrepreneur. From the Popular University, we have also worked in different municipalities, evaluating which are the trades with greater work output and more demanded by the people. We work articulately with NGOs, popular libraries, children’s homes, churches.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR EFFORTS TO IMPROVE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND PROMOTE MISIONES TO FOREIGN INVESTORS?

 

Misiones may have geographical limits but our potential has no boundaries. In this sense, we have consolidated institutional relations with other key countries through international trips and working tables, such as the one with all the ambassadors of the European Union and neighboring countries. We are focusing on issues related to multiple sectors, including industry, tourism, and agriculture. We act with the idea of “expanded borders” where the Paraná and Uruguay rivers work as within the same region. Therefore, we must continue to strengthen ties with the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná and Santa Catarina, in Brazil and Itapúa and Alto Paraná, in Paraguay. In the case of Rio Grande do Sul, we have held several meetings with politicians and businesspeople resulting in essential investments and advanced cooperation, both publicly and privately. 

 

YOUR GOVERNMENT HAS MADE A PRIORITY TO FACILITATE PRIVATE INVESTMENTS. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE RESULTS?

 

Misiones is recognized by the quality of its industrial sector and we want it to grow further, creating jobs and expanding production. In this regard, we have established the Posadas Industrial Park which is already seeing an important level of activity that show its potential. We have twelve companies already established and six more have requested lots, and their projects are being analyzed, always seeking to meet the proposed objectives: create jobs, integrate to local supply chains, innovation and respect for the environment. The Polish company LUG is installing in Posadas its first factory outside Europe producing state-of-the-art LED luminaires that can reduce up to 70% in energy consumption and which will be substituted for expensive luminaires in public spaces and buildings. Also, the VOLTU plant will start its production in Posadas, an innovative national company that develops motor systems for all types of electric vehicles and export to markets in Latin America, Europe and the United States. Another important sector with great potential is the wood industry. With over 500.000 hectares of forests, we believe that wood should be a source of well-being and to achieve this objective, we need to generate more value-added products. We have taken a significant step by agreeing to install the largest wooden dwelling factory in Latin America, which should create 2,500 jobs, produce 5,000 houses a year through an investment of $200 million. 

 

A new laboratory with modern equipment was established to make the physicochemical and microbiological analysis of food and food products, such as tea and yerba mate. We want to continue our leadership as the largest producer of yerba mate in the country. The laboratory is also essential for our plan to achieve the provincial plan of phytomedicines where we should reach 100% of local production this year. We also built the first Oleochemical Technological Center that has already delivered over 60.00 seedlings of citronella and 40,000 of mint to producers. Misiones is also a prominent producer of tobacco with its current campaign 17/18 estimated to reach the province’s historical average of 30,000 tons of Burley-type tobacco and 500 tons of the Criollo Missionary type.