The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Argentina held “productive meetings” concerning the $45 billion the country owes to the financial institution, according to a statement.

The IMF said the meetings in Venice, Italy, from July 8 -12, were aimed at “deepening the technical work necessary to develop an IMF-supported program.”

“The teams discussed the evolution of the global environment and the COVID-19 pandemic and their implications for Argentina’s macroeconomic framework. Discussions focused on policies to strengthen the recovery, economic stability, and job creation,” it said.

“Progress was made in identifying policy options to develop the domestic capital market, mobilize domestic revenue, and strengthen Argentina’s external resilience,” said the fiancé institution. “The IMF team and the Argentine authorities will continue working together in the period ahead with a view to further deepening their understandings in these key areas. Our goal is to support Argentina as it durably addresses its economic and balance of payment challenges.”

Argentine Economy Minister Martin Guzman said the meetings “provided progress and understandings on key issues of the Government’s economic program.”

Guzman was in Italy as part of the G20 finance meetings and said that “concrete advances were made in understandings regarding policies for the development of the domestic capital market, tax administration, and the development of foreign exchange generating sector.”

Both sides wanted to reach a deal this year but due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in Argentina, an agreement is expected next March, following mid-term elections at the end of 2021 in Argentina.
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez has received backing from France, Spain and Portugal as they continue IMF negotiations.

In September 2018, Argentina received the biggest IMF loan in history, $57 billion, because of a deep economic crisis.

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