Buenos Aires at a Glance
Working in Buenos Aires
Argentina seems to have overcome the recent crises and job opportunities are improving. For Buenos Aires in particular, the service sector is especially strong.
In terms of business etiquette, avoid being brash or abrupt with colleagues or clients. The dress code for most businesses is smart, but anything too flashy will get you a few odd looks.
Although many business professionals in Buenos Aires speak English, it is advised to take a short course and to learn the basics of Rioplatense Spanish, even just to be polite.
For many expats, working in Buenos Aires has again become a viable career option, thanks to the gradual recovery of Argentina’s economy. You can read about the country’s recent financial crises in our article on working in Argentina. The nation’s economic situation seems to be improving, even though capital flight and inflation continue to worry experts. Skilled expats can no doubt profit from the capital’s part in current and future growth industries.
In 2011, Argentina’s economic growth rate was estimated at nearly 9%. Major sectors like agriculture, transport and shipping, food processing, as well as various manufacturing industries likely benefitted from this development. And, as unemployment figures seem to be at their lowest in 20 years according to the World Bank (about 7% as of 2012), these fields offer jobs to people working in Buenos Aires and the provinces.
Unfortunately, though, GDP growth hasn’t reached the same heights since, and is estimated to stand at just 0.7% at the end of 2016. The new drive for economic growth with social inclusion has helped the unemployment rate in Argentina, which stood at 7.5% in 2016.
Mechanical engineering, biotechnology, energy production, the mining industry, and IT/mobile communications are all sectors with potential to grow. Expatriates with professional experience in these fields could have a good chance of working in Buenos Aires.
It is not only trade relations with Brazil that could be of interest to job seekers from abroad. Argentina exports a great deal of goods to China, the EU (especially Spain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands), Chile, as well as the United States. Expertise in commerce between Argentina and one of these countries could also be a stepping stone to working in Buenos Aires.
Laying Down The Law
Working in Buenos Aires requires you to have a work permit and an employment visa for Argentina. Whether you can obtain these depends on your becoming part of an intra-company transfer to Buenos Aires or having a job offer from a company based there. You have to fulfill one of these conditions before you can take care of the administrative matters and start working in Buenos Aires.
The work permit is a special category of the permiso de ingreso (entry permit) from the National Immigration Office. Ask your employer in Buenos Aires or an Argentine immigration lawyer if they can help you handle the considerable paperwork involved. If you are a resident of a MERCOSUR member state, however, you do not need such a permit.
You can find further information on the permiso de ingreso in our article on moving to Argentina.
Industries and Service Sector
If you have managed to find employment that entails working in Buenos Aires, you will be moving to Argentina’s center of trade, commerce, and industry. The bustling harbor in the Puerto Nuevo neighborhood is the most important maritime port in the country, providing jobs for many in Buenos Aires’ shipping industries.
Most expats are working in Buenos Aires’ service industry. Overall, services account for over 62% of Argentina’s GDP output, and this number is naturally even higher for Buenos Aires. In addition to the growing tourism and hospitality sector, the creative industries and, most importantly, finance and real estate play important roles.
Buenos Aires’ central business district houses the country’s stock exchange, the national bank, as well as international banking firms such as Citibank. San Nicolás is also home to global players such as Microsoft and IBM, other potential employers for expatriates working in Buenos Aires.
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