Meet in Buenos Aires

The Paris of South Amer­ica is a meet­ings des­ti­na­tion with a come­back story that

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE - By Liat Clark

The Paris of South Amer­ica is a meet­ings des­ti­na­tion with a come­back story that de­fies the odds

In De­cem­ber 2001, Ar­gentina suf­fered the worst eco­nomic col­lapse in over a cen­tury, a con­fi­dence-shat­ter­ing fi­nan­cial break­down that made the global cri­sis at the end of 2008 look like a mi­nor in­con­ve­nience by com­par­i­son. In the decade since, how­ever, the coun­try has staged a dizzy­ing re­cov­ery and has tri­umphed over both his­tory and neg­a­tive ex­pec­ta­tions to en­joy both sta­bil­ity and growth.

When Ar­gentina’s econ­omy crashed a dozen years ago, the road back seemed in­con­ceiv­ably long – the coun­try’s dramatic turn­around could not have been pre­dicted. But in the in­ter­ven­ing years (2002-2011), the Ar­gen­tine econ­omy has seen a 94 per­cent in­crease, and it shows.

Al­though last year’s growth rate slowed (along with the rest of the world), so far 2013 has seen a re­turn of mo­men­tum. The lat­est re­ports have the Ar­gen­tinian econ­omy grow­ing at 7.8 per­cent clip in May, which puts first quar­ter growth at 4.9 per­cent. Ar­gentina’s Cen­tral Bank projects the econ­omy to grow a ro­bust 4.6 per­cent in 2013.

Tourism is boom­ing; new air links make it more con­ve­nient to visit than ever be­fore.

“Af­ter Ar­gentina’s cat­a­strophic eco­nomic melt­down in 2001, the num­ber of peo­ple liv­ing on the poverty line in­creased to nearly 50 per­cent,”says Colin M Lewis, pro­fes­sor of Latin Amer­i­can eco­nomic his­tory at the Lon­don School of Eco­nom­ics (LSE).“Now 60 per­cent of Ar­gen­tini­ans are con­sid­er­ably bet­ter off than they were in 2000-02.”

The cap­i­tal Buenos Aires is a grand city in ev­ery sense, of­ten called the Paris of South Amer­ica. Steeped in his­tory and cul­ture, it of­fers event go­ers a wealth of op­por­tu­nity.

“Buenos Aires has changed a heck of a lot in the past six years,”says Paul Irvine, co-founder of lux­ury South Amer­i­can

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