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Political Risk Analysis: Argentina Improves Anti-Money Laundering Controls

Argentina is still viewed as a country affected by high levels of political risk. During the administration of current President Mauricio Macri foreign investors have started paying more attention to Argentina. Macri has yet to kickstart a new wave of meaningful economic growth or eliminate longstanding struggles with inflation, but his government is at least inspiring confidence that Argentina is moving away from the legacy of recent left-of-center presidents who mismanaged macro-economic policy and tolerated high levels of corruption. President Macri is working to partner with investors to build new infrastructure and develop new energy projects, but he is also signaling that he wants to crack down on corruption and money laundering. In 2012 the U.S. State Department listed Argentina as a country of primary concern for money laundering risk. Since, then Argentina's reputation in regards to money laundering controls has begun to improve.

In November, 2017 Argentine police arrested a former Vice-President on corruption charges. Argentine prosecutors are also pursuing money laundering charges against former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Argentina has long been viewed as a high risk country for corruption where foreign companies may be placed at risk of violating anti-corruption laws in their home jurisdictions. Until recently Argentina was seen as a country with weak money laundering controls, high risk for fraud and financial crime, and weak enforcement of anti-money laundering (AML) controls. Over the last few years the business culture in Argentina has begun to evolve, but it's still not clear exactly how much Argentina has improved when it comes to money laundering, fraud, and corruption risk. But, across different industries and cities in the country the risk of exposure to risk relating to money laundering and financial crime varies. It's still an area that investors performing due diligence need to understand.

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