Argentina - Country Commercial Guide
Design & Construction

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-11-09

Argentina’s construction industry is experiencing a strong contraction. However, the industry is likely to start recovering when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and the economic outlook stabilizes.

Although the Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank committed funding for new roads, rail, ports, and utilities under Argentina’s previous administration, there is now a shift in infrastructure priorities by sector and scalability. Recent developments indicate the Argentine government will have a greater role in the infrastructure sector. In the short term, the current administration is reportedly focused on small-scale infrastructure projects – in the US$20 million range – featuring opportunities for local companies leading to job creation, as well as some other projects that had been tendered and awarded under the previous administration. Public works priority areas include social housing, ports, roads, rail, and waterworks.

The government’s short-term investment plans worth US$310 million encompass public works on a water treatment plant in Corrientes, Highway 18 in Entre Rios, Route 40 in San Juan, and Provincial Route 8 in Buenos Aires. The water treatment project may present a business opportunity for U.S. water management consulting services, whereas the road construction will likely rely on local content/labor.

The San Martin cargo line, which connects the Province of Mendoza and the Port of Rosario, is likely to move forward in its first phase of modernization. These projects will be financed by China’s development bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and CMEC (China Machinery Engineering Corporation). Potential business opportunities for U.S. suppliers may arise in the signalling and automated control segments. 

Argentina’s water sector had been active under the previous administration, which enjoyed both national and multilateral funding. The World Bank-financed Salado River Project conceived to improve flood protection and water management in Buenos Aires province is in the advanced execution phase encompassing the dredging of about 125 miles of the river. The current administration plans to disburse funds throught its “Hace” Program to expand access to potable water networks and improve flood prevention and drainage systems in multiple urban areas. These projects may present business opportunities for U.S. water management consulting services.

Argentina’s fluvial superhighway, the hidrovía, links more than 80 Argentine ports on the Paraná and La Plata rivers, allowing more than 125 million tons of all types of cargo, 1.5 million containers, 750,000 vehicles, and (pre-pandemic) the arrival of 320,000 cruise passengers per year. Of Argentina’s agro-industrial production, which exceeds 90 million tons per year, 75 percent is dispatched from the Port of Rosario through the hidrovia. The current concession, which has been held by Belgian company Jan de Nul and the Argentine EMEPA since 1995,  will expire in September 2021. The Government intends to administer the hidrovia’s management for a 12-month period while a new tender is prepared.  New tenders for dredging, tolls, and signalling are expected to be issued, but the timelines are uncertain.

Resources

Ministry of Transport (Spanish)

Government of Argentina – Trains (Spanish)

Government of Argentina – Highways(Spanish)

Government of Argentina – Ports (Spanish)

Government of Argentina - Tenders (Spanish)

Government of Argentina – Hidrovia (Spanish)

 

For additional information, including market analysis, trade events, contacts, and the products and services that the U.S. Commercial Service can provide to help you succeed in the Argentine market, please contact Marcelo Amden, Industry Specialist.