November 08, 2019
Grobocopatel: “We meet at Venado Tuerto to listen to them and interact with our customers“
Despite having set up a true empire with his company Los Grobo, Gustavo Grobocopatel is known as a simple type, of those millionaires who do not show off.

Modestly dressed in dress pants, T-shirt and light shoes, he runs through the facilities of the Polo Club, where the local branch of his company organized a day for clients and businessmen linked to the agricultural sector. Before attending an extensive and relaxed interview, the descendant of judíos Jewish gauchos ’who, from Carlos Casares, became the King of Soy, is interested in the political swings of Venado Tuerto.
He asked which party he won in the last elections, he recalls former mayor Roberto Scott (he was participating yesterday in the talk) because a few years ago he had invited him to eat at his house. He even has in mind that the successor of the veteran justicialist leader is his son-in-law and that he is a psychologist. He doesn't remember the name of José Freyre, but he knows who he is. Then the time would come to give a talk, which he shared with economist Enrique Erize, before a large audience.
Critic of Kirchnerism, a few months ago Grobocopatel had shown his preference for the re-election of Mauricio Macri, but today he is confident that the next government will aim to reverse the bleak panorama of the economy, even warning that the difficulties will be many. “There are people who have money stored in the mattress or abroad, and they have to provide security conditions for them to invest again. There is a very important financial constraint to do the things that must be done, in a context of great social and economic difficulties. Argentina needs to grow again, and for that we have to re-produce, export and increase domestic consumption, ”he says.

The president of Los Grobo warns that for decades the Argentine production system "is not very competitive globally", something that attributes to a combo of "high taxes, low quality of the State, low infrastructure and lack of productivity because there is no investment in Investigation and development".

From his point of view, “it is a structural problem that is exacerbated by the bad practices of different governments. We came with this since before Cristina, and his thing is a milestone because the variables had been accommodated with a great effort by the Argentines after 2002, and there was an opportunity to move forward by making the necessary reforms with the double surplus to export and the inmate But that didn't happen and now it's harder to do it. ”

-Then there is no encouraging data?
-There are opportunities, China imports more and more meat, they are opening refrigerators and there is the possibility of pork and chicken that we did not have before, and places like Venado Tuerto have the opportunity to industrialize more, the same as regional economies. But public policies are needed that favor growth, because interest rates, credit restriction and an artificially crushed exchange rate to curb inflation have negatively impacted business activity.

- Between the loss of a historical opportunity of the Kirchner and the failure of Macri, where does the exit for the investments of the productive sector?
-The result of the elections makes it possible to make a positive reading in the sense that a non-Peronist government ends and that there is a fairly balanced policy structure with power controls. I think that the current ruling party will be constructive now as an opposition, therefore there is a leap forward. From the economic point of view we are taking permanent steps backwards, in our country when a government changes, the one that arrives begins to build on the rubble, and we have to do it on what has already been done. I hope that the new government will do it and have the ability to articulate between different sectors to make the agreements, because the measures that come are hard for everyone and require a medium and long term vision. Let people understand that you make a sacrifice for something that will improve.

-To get out of the crisis of 2001 and 2002, soy was the engine of the Argentine economy. What item will have that role now?
-The role of the agricultural sector remains fundamental and will be as long as we have wind from soybean tail. But now the way out of the crisis may be the demand for meat, it is the niche of opportunity. There are sectors such as energy, mining, tourism and the knowledge industry that will be drivers. And some industries. We also have an infrastructure deficit, therefore construction should also boost the economy. We need macroeconomic stability and a social pact so that investors know that what was written by hand is not going to be erased.

- What evaluation does of the price of the dollar and the restriction of purchase?

-The price is a consequence of the lack of competitiveness and not the cause as everyone thinks. It is necessary to devalue because there is no competitiveness. The stocks are a disastrous, very bad measure. I think that it is being needed now to avoid a hemorrhage, but there can be no growth if there is restriction for the flow of capital, therefore it is necessary to draw the stocks as soon as possible, generating confidence so that the capital returns to the system. Most of the dollars are in the hands of tens of thousands of savers who seek to protect themselves from the ups and downs. You have to get them back in the banks to generate loans and credits that activate the productive system.

- From the agricultural sector they fear that the next government establishes a policy with high retentions?

- I do not have union participation, but what I hear among clients and friends is that there is concern about how to get out of this. We will have to put all, this sector is already putting much more than the others. There is a record of collection and also of evasion, the agricultural sector contributes 70 percent of the profits, therefore it is very difficult to ask for much more. I think one of the jobs is to collect more where taxes are not being paid.

-Where does Los Grobo point in this context?

-We think that the agribusiness sector will grow in Argentina because of the potential it has and Los Grobo will be one of the leading companies, all the shareholders - which are large international funds and my family - are betting on that. We just met at Venado Tuerto to have some contact with our customers and suppliers, to listen to them and interact. There is a need to walk hand in hand these turbulent and uncertain times, building together.

Automatic translation from spanish.

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