INTERNATIONAL: Zemi to kick-start Argentine investment

BUENOS AIRES: The Economics Ministry of Argentina has hired New York-based Zemi Communications to convince potential aid-providers that the country has a viable plan for overcoming its fiscal crisis.

Zemi MD Alan Stoga is a one-time associate of Henry Kissinger, who helped Argen-tina negotiate its way out of the debt crisis that hit Latin America during the 1980s.

Argentine Ministry of Economics head of media relations Silvia Mercado told Argentinean communications publication Imagen: 'Stoga is very familiar with our problems, our virtues, and our defects. Most important of all, he knows how to influence US public opinion as we begin our arduous campaign for re-assimilation into the world.'

Stoga was not available to comment on his strategy as PRWeek went to press. But according to industry insiders, it is expected he will communicate the possible effects on the US if Argentina does not become financially stable.

Euromoney Latin America editor Felix Salmon said Stoga might take an approach that involves repositioning the turmoil in Argentina as a potential threat to US national security: 'Argentina is not going to be able to attract private money, so the only thing it can hope for is public investments.

"If Stoga can persuade the (US) State Department that it's of utmost strategic importance that Argentina not be allowed to completely implode, then it can, in turn, take that message to the White House, which can lean on the World Bank and IMF,' headded.

Zemi chief Stoga has in the past advised clients on their dealing with Wall Street, such as Mexican firm TV Azteca. He is also chairman of Americas Committee, a think-tank specialising in Latin American investments, and Argentina Action Group, which advises North American firms concerned about the future of their investments in Argentina.

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